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Drug Therapy Problems and the Role of Clinical Pharmacist in Surgery Ward: Prospective Observational and Interventional Study

Authors Tefera GM, Zeleke AZ, Jima YM, Kebede TM

Received 25 February 2020

Accepted for publication 15 April 2020

Published 4 May 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 71—83


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Hemalkumar B Mehta

Gosaye Mekonen Tefera,1 Ameha Zewudie Zeleke,2 Yitagesu Mamo Jima,2 Tsegaye Melaku Kebede3

1Department of Pharmacy, Ambo University, Ambo, Ethiopia; 2Department of Pharmacy, Mizan–Tepi University, Mizan Teferi, Ethiopia; 3School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Gosaye Mekonen Tefera Email

Background: Drug therapy problems (DTPs) are of major concern in health care because of the associated increased cost of treatment, morbidity, and mortality. Thus, clinical practice should constitute the mainstream practice of clinical pharmacy in every ward. However, nothing is known about DTPs and the role of clinical pharmacist in the surgical ward of Ethiopia (the neglected ward).
Objective: To assess the prevalence of DTP among patients hospitalized at the surgical ward and the role of clinical pharmacists in their identification and resolution.
Methods: Hospital-based prospective observational and interventional study design was used with daily patients’ chart review using a semi-structured questionnaire among hospitalized adult patients at the surgical ward. After identification of DTP, verbal communication was used as a means of intervention with the treating physician. Acceptance of clinical pharmacist’s intervention was considered only if a change was made to the patients’ medication order. To identify determinants of DTPs, multiple stepwise forward logistic regression analysis was done by SPSS version 20.0. Statistical significance was considered at p-value < 0.05. Written informed consent was sought and the data were secured.
Results: The response rate was 97.1% (300) for the final analysis. The mean (±SD = standard deviation) age of the participants was 42.62 ± 18.29 with male (67%) predominance. DTP was identified in 76% of study participants. A total of 449 DTPs were identified, which equates with an average of 1.97 per patient. Dose too low 124/449 (27.6%) and dose too high 81/449 (18.0%) were found to be the most common types of DTPs. The intervention rate was 86.0% (196/228 per patients) and 86.2% (387/449 DTPs), with the acceptance rate of 85.2% (167/196 per patients) and 78% (302/387 per DTP) which mean (67.3%) 302/449 of the problems were fully resolved by the clinical pharmacist. Poly-pharmacy [AOR, 7.23; 95% CI, 2.29– 22.13: P-value < 0.001] and hospital stay > 20 days [AOR, 5.42; 95% CI, 2.74– 10.70; p < 0.001] were the only independent predictors for DTPs.
Conclusion and Recommendation: This study identified a high prevalence of DTP which was independently predicted by the presence of poly-pharmacy and > 20 days of hospital stay. The rate of intervention provided and acceptance from the physician was high, which is one indicator that the role of clinical pharmacists in the identification and resolution of DTP was paramount in the surgery ward and should be implemented as a must not as optional.

Keywords: drug therapy problem, surgery, clinical pharmacist, intervention, Ethiopia

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