A retrospective study of drug-related problems in Australian aged care homes: Medication reviews involving pharmacists and general practitioners

Prasad S Nishtala, Andrew John McLachlan, J Simon Bell, Timothy Chen

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Background Drug-related problems (DRPs) in Australian aged care homes have been studied previously. However, little is known about the acceptance and implementation of pharmacists recommendations by general practitioners (GPs) to resolve DRPs. Objectives The primary objective of this study was to investigate the number and nature of DRPs identified by accredited clinical pharmacists. The secondary objective was to study the GP acceptance and implementation of pharmacist recommendations to resolve DRPs. Methods This was a retrospective study of 500 randomly selected, de-identified medication reviews performed by 10 accredited clinical pharmacists over 6 months across 62 aged care homes. The DRPs identified by pharmacists were subsequently classified by the drugs involved, types of problem (indication, effectiveness and safety) and medical diagnoses of the patient. GP written feedback on the medication review reports determined implementation of pharmacists recommendations to resolve the DRPs. Results A total of 1433 DRPs were identified in 480 of the 500 residents. Potential DRPs were frequently classified as risk of adverse drug reactions, need for additional monitoring and inappropriate choice of a drug. Alimentary, cardiovascular, central nervous system and respiratory drugs were most frequently implicated, accounting for more than 75 of the DRPs. GPs acceptance and implementation of pharmacists recommendations were 72.5 (95 CI; 70.2, 74.8) and 58.1 (95 CI; 55.5, 60.6), respectively. Conclusions Over 96 of the residents had potential DRPs identified by pharmacists. GP acceptance of pharmacists recommendations was independent of the drug category, but not independent of the disease category.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97 - 103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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