Introduction: We study the impact of a pharmacist consult clinic on the care of elderly outpatients based on the Health Belief Model that the perceived benefits (improvement in medication knowledge, clinical status and perception) and attached barriers (cost and number of medication and adverse drug reactions) can influence health behaviour (medication compliance).Materials and Methods: A randomised controlled study of 136 eligible patients with risk factors for non-compliance, using Zelen’s design, was conducted in a hospital-based geriatric outpatient clinic from November 2001 to June 2002. All patients were assessed for outcome variables at baseline and 2 months later. Results: One hundred and twenty-six patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. There were 104 pharmacist interventions with a physician acceptance rate of 76%. There was a significant improvement in medication knowledge with regards to indication (P = 0.03) and the composite dose, frequency and indication score (P = 0.06), as well as a decrease in residual adverse drug reactions that persisted at month 2 and cost avoidance of $387.28 over 2 months. There was no significant difference in perception, clinical status or decrease in number of medications. The intervention group showed an improvement in adjusted compliance (odds ration [OR] = 2.52; 90% confidence interval [CI], 1.09 to 5.83) based on the ordered logistic regression model. Perception of severity of illness at baseline (OR = 1.30; 90% CI, 1.04 to 1.62), number of medication remembering methods (OR = 1.87; 90% CI, 1.08 to 3.25) and the use of routine habits (OR = 4.48; 90% CI, 1.51 to 13.28) and medication aids (OR = 3.68; 90% CI, 1.04 to 13.06) significantly affected compliance. Conclusion: The addition of a pharmacist consult clinic to the management of selected geriatric outpatients can improve compliance, with the attendant benefits of improving medication knowledge, cost avoidance and reducing residual adverse drug reactions.
A general philosophy in the care of elderly patients is to use the least drugs possible to achieve the desired clinical outcome. In the United States (US), however, although patients >65 years old represent only 13% of the total population, they consume nearly 30% of all prescription medications.
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