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Role of pharmacists in providing parenteral nutrition support: current insights and future directions

Authors Katoue MG

Received 7 January 2018

Accepted for publication 5 May 2018

Published 2 October 2018 Volume 2018:7 Pages 125—140

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IPRP.S117118

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling


Video abstract presented by Maram Gamal Katoue

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Maram Gamal Katoue

Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Background: Parenteral nutrition (PN) therapy is a complex and critical therapy that requires special clinical knowledge, skills, and practice experience to avoid errors in prescribing, compounding, and clinical management of patients. Pharmacists with adequate clinical training and expertise in PN therapy can have pivotal role in the care of patients receiving PN therapy.
Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to describe and evaluate the different roles of pharmacists and their provided services related to PN therapy.
Materials and methods: A comprehensive systematic literature review on the topic was conducted via PubMed database using several keywords related to the topic (from 1975 to 2017). Additional resources included the standards of practice and clinical guidelines from recognized organizations such as the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Results: Pharmacists have diverse roles in relation to PN therapy including the following: the assessment of patients’ nutritional needs; the design, compounding, dispensing, and quality management of PN formulations; monitoring patients’ response to PN therapy; supervision of home parenteral nutrition (HPN) programs; education of patients, caregivers, and other health care professionals on nutrition support and conducting PN-related research and quality improvement activities. These services seem to be variable across clinical settings and among different countries depending on the practice environment and pharmacists’ clinical practice in these settings. However, each of these practice domains helps to support the delivery of safe and effective PN therapy to patients.
Conclusion: Pharmacists have been actively participating in providing PN-related services to patients. To fulfill the requirements of their essential role in this area of practice, pharmacists need adequate educational preparation and clinical training on nutrition support. Empowerment of pharmacists to assume a stronger leadership role in this dimension of pharmacy practice will enhance the quality of care provided to patients receiving PN therapy and improve PN services.

Keywords: nutrition support, nutrition support pharmacist, nutrition support team

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