Pharmacist services in nursing homes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Shaun Wen Huey Lee, Vivienne Sook Li Mak, Yee Woon Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Pharmacists have been contributing to the care of residents in nursing homes and play a significant role in ensuring quality use of medicine. However, the changing role of pharmacist in nursing homes and their impact on residents is relatively unknown. Methods: Six electronic databases were searched from inception until November 2018 for articles published in English examining the services offered by pharmacists in nursing homes. Studies were included if it examined the impact of interventions by pharmacists to improve the quality use of medicine in nursing homes. Results: Fifty-two studies (30 376 residents) were included in the current review. Thirteen studies were randomised controlled studies, while the remainder were either pre–post, retrospective or case–control studies where pharmacists provided services such as clinical medication review in collaboration with other healthcare professionals as well as staff education. Pooled analysis found that pharmacist-led services reduced the mean number of falls (−0.50; 95% confidence interval: −0.79 to −0.21) among residents in nursing homes. Mixed results were noted on the impact of pharmacists' services on mortality, hospitalisation and admission rates among residents. The potential financial savings of such services have not been formally evaluated by any studies thus far. The strength of evidence was moderate for the outcomes of mortality and number of fallers. Conclusion: Pharmacists contribute substantially to patient care in nursing homes, ensuring quality use of medication, resulting in reduced fall rates. Further studies with rigorous design are needed to measure the impact of pharmacist services on the economic benefits and other patient health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2668-2688
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • inappropriate medication
  • medication review
  • nursing home
  • pharmacist
  • polypharmacy
  • systematic review

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