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Collaborative intervention between pharmacists and physicians on elderly patients: a randomized controlled trial

Authors Shim YW, Chua SS, Wong HC, Alwi S

Received 12 July 2017

Accepted for publication 4 January 2018

Published 15 June 2018 Volume 2018:14 Pages 1115—1125

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S146218

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh


Yee Wei Shim,1,2 Siew Siang Chua,1,3 Hui Chin Wong,4 Syireen Alwi1

1Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 2Department of Pharmacy, Duchess of Kent Hospital, Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia; 3School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia; 4Department of Medicine, Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, Klang, Selangor, Malaysia

Background: The elderly population is the largest consumer of medications as this age group is at high risk for developing chronic diseases. However, medication use among elderly people is complicated by an increased risk of drug-related problems. Therefore, the present study was conducted to investigate the effects of collaborative interventions between pharmacists and physicians on health-related outcomes of elderly patients.
Patients and methods: This was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted on elderly outpatients who sought treatment in the Medical Outpatient Department of a public tertiary hospital in Malaysia and who were taking at least five medications. The participants were randomly allocated to the intervention and control groups. The intervention group received pharmaceutical care from a pharmacist in collaboration with physicians and was followed-up for 6 months, while the control group received usual care in the outpatient pharmacy.
Results: A total of 73 participants in the intervention group and 79 participants in the control group completed the study. Participants in the intervention group had significantly better medication adherence (median =7.0 vs 5.0, U=1224.5, p<0.001, r=0.503) and better Medication Appropriateness Index (MAI) score (median =8.0 vs 20.0, U=749.5, p<0.001, r=0.639).
Conclusion: Collaborative interventions between pharmacists and physicians improved medication adherence and MAI scores of the elderly patients. Therefore, such services should be implemented in all hospitals, especially in countries where pharmacists are still not playing a substantial role in patient care.
Trial registration: NMRR-12-958-13020.

Keywords: geriatric, medication adherence, Medication Appropriate Index, MAI, intervention

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