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The Impact of Medication Reviews Conducted in Primary Care on Hospital Admissions and Mortality: An Observational Follow-Up of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Authors Milos Nymberg V, Lenander C, Borgström Bolmsjö B

Received 24 September 2020

Accepted for publication 9 December 2020

Published 27 January 2021 Volume 2021:13 Pages 1—9


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Rajender R Aparasu

Veronica Milos Nymberg,1,2 Cecilia Lenander,1,2 Beata Borgström Bolmsjö1,2

1Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; 2CPF, Center for Primary Healthcare Research, Malmö, Sweden

Correspondence: Beata Borgström Bolmsjö
CPF, Center for Primary Health Care Research, Clinical Research Centre (CRC), Building 28, Floor 11, Jan Waldenström Street 35, Malmö SE-205 02, Sweden

Background: Drug-related problems among the elderly population are common and increasing. Multi-professional medication reviews (MR) have arisen as a method to optimize drug therapy for frail elderly patients. Research has not yet been able to show conclusive evidence of the effect of MRs on mortality or hospital admissions.
Aim: The aim of this study was to assess the impact of MRs’ on hospital admissions and mortality after six and 12 months in a frail population of 369 patients in primary care in a cohort from a randomized controlled study.
Methods: Patients were blindly randomized to an intervention group (receiving MRs) and a control group (receiving usual care). Descriptive data on mortality and hospital admissions at six and 12 months were collected. Survival analysis was performed for time to death and time to the first hospital admission within 12 months.
Results: An observational follow-up was performed in a cohort of 369 patients, previously randomized to an intervention group (182) and a control group (187). Most of the patients (75%) were females and lived in nursing homes. At six months, 50 patients of the baseline population (27%) in the control group had been admitted to hospital at least once, compared to 40 patients (21%) in the intervention group. At 12 months, the percentage had increased to 70 (37%) in the control group compared to 53 (29%) in the intervention group. Compared to usual care, we found that MRs reduced the risk of hospital admissions within 12 months by 42% (HR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.37– 0.92, p=0.021), but found no difference in mortality (HR = 1.12, 95% CI 0.78– 1.61, p=0.551) between the groups.
Conclusion: We suggest that MRs should be recommended in the care of frail elderly patients with expected benefits on delayed hospital admissions. The study is registered at, registration number NCT04040855, Unique Protocol ID 2018/8.

Keywords: medication reviews, primary care, elderly, randomized controlled study, hospital admissions, mortality

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