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Humanistic outcomes and patient acceptance of the pharmacist-led medication review “Polymedication Check” in primary care in Switzerland: a prospective randomized controlled trial

Authors Messerli M, Vriends N, Hersberger KE

Received 29 December 2017

Accepted for publication 30 April 2018

Published 19 June 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1071—1078

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S160789

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen


Markus Messerli,1 Noortje Vriends,2 Kurt E Hersberger1

1Pharmaceutical Care Research Group, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 2Division of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Background: Since 2010, Swiss pharmacists have been offering their patients a Polymedication Check (PMC), a new cognitive pharmacy service in the form of a medication review for patients taking ≥4 prescribed medicines for a period >3 months. While a first publication of this project reported on the impact of the PMC on patients’ adherence, the present paper focuses on humanistic outcomes.
Methods: This randomized controlled trial was conducted in 54 Swiss community pharmacies. After recruitment, the intervention group underwent a PMC in the pharmacy (T-0) and 28 weeks after T-0 (T-28), while the control group did not receive the PMC until 28 weeks after the study started (T-28). A clinical psychologist, blinded to the intervention, interviewed the patients 2 weeks (T-2) and 16 weeks (T-16) after T-0. Interviewer and patient both rated patient’s knowledge of own medicines use. Furthermore, patients reported satisfaction with their pharmacy and appraisal of their medicines use. The availability of a written medication plan was assessed at T-16. Acceptance of the service was measured using a patient’s self-report questionnaire at T-28.
Results: General linear model analysis for knowledge about medicines revealed a significant effect on the factor “group” (F=5.86, p=0.016), indicating that the intervention group had higher ratings for knowledge about their medication at T-2 and T-16 compared to controls. The majority (83%) of patients judged the counseling by the pharmacist as being helpful for their daily medication management. Availability of a written medication plan was comparable in both groups (52.5% vs 52.7%, p>0.05).
Conclusion: For the first time, the benefits of a complex pharmacist-led intervention were evaluated in Swiss primary care with a randomized controlled trial. The PMC increased patients’ subjective knowledge of their medicines compared to no medication review. The effect remained sustainable over time. Recommendations resulting from the pharmacist-led service were highly appreciated by the patients.

Keywords: polypharmacy, community pharmacy, medication review, humanistic outcomes, patient knowledge, patient acceptance, pharmaceutical care

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