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Feasibility of a self-administered survey to identify primary care patients at risk of medication-related problems

Authors Makowsky M, Cave A, Simpson S

Received 18 April 2013

Accepted for publication 11 November 2013

Published 22 February 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 123—127

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S46910

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Mark J Makowsky,1 Andrew J Cave,2 Scot H Simpson1

1Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Background and objectives: Pharmacists working in primary care clinics are well positioned to help optimize medication management of community-dwelling patients who are at high risk of experiencing medication-related problems. However, it is often difficult to identify these patients. Our objective was to test the feasibility of a self-administered patient survey, to facilitate identification of patients at high risk of medication-related problems in a family medicine clinic.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, paper-based survey at the University of Alberta Hospital Family Medicine Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta, which serves approximately 7,000 patients, with 25,000 consultations per year. Adult patients attending the clinic were invited to complete a ten-item questionnaire, adapted from previously validated surveys, while waiting to be seen by the physician. Outcomes of interest included: time to complete the questionnaire, staff feedback regarding impact on workflow, and the proportion of patients who reported three or more risk factors for medication-related problems.
Results: The questionnaire took less than 5 minutes to complete, according to the patient's report on the last page of the questionnaire. The median age (and interquartile range) of respondents was 57 (45–69) years; 59% were women; 47% reported being in very good or excellent health; 43 respondents of 100 had three or more risk factors, and met the definition for being at high risk of a medication-related problem.
Conclusions: Distribution of a self-administered questionnaire did not disrupt patients, or the clinic workflow, and identified an important proportion of patients at high risk of medication-related problems.

Keywords: screening tool, pharmacists, primary care, medication related problems

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