Back to Journals » Patient Preference and Adherence » Volume 12

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


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

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

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]