Objective: To assess the effectiveness of a pharmacist-led intervention using validated tools to reduce medicine-induced deterioration and adverse reactions.
Design and setting: Multicenter, open-label parallel randomised controlled trial involving 39 Australian aged-care facilities.
Participants: Residents on ≥4 medicines or ≥1 anticholinergic or sedative medicine.
Intervention: Pharmacist-led intervention using validated tools to detect signs and symptoms of medicine-induced deterioration which occurred every 8 weeks over 12 months.
Comparator: Usual care (Residential Medication Management Review) provided by accredited pharmacists.
Outcomes: Primary outcome was change in Frailty Index at 12 months. Secondary outcomes included changes in cognition, 24-hour movement behaviour by accelerometry, grip strength, weight, adverse events and quality of life.
Results: 248 persons (median age 87 years) completed the study; 120 in the interventionand, 128 in control arms. In total 575 pharmacist, sessions were undertaken in the intervention arm. There was no statistically significant difference for change in frailty between groups (mean difference: 0.009, 95% CI: -0.028, 0.009, P = 0.320). A significant difference for cognition was observed, with a mean difference of 1.36 point change at 12 months (95% CI: 0.01, 2.72, P = 0.048). Changes in 24-hour movement behaviour, grip strength, adverse events and quality of life were not significantly different between groups. Point estimates favoured the intervention arm at 12 months for frailty, 24-hour movement behaviour and grip strength.
Conclusions: The use of validated tools by pharmacists to detect signs of medicine-induced deterioration is a model of practice that requires further research, with promising results from this trial, particularly with regards to improved cognition.
- activity tracker
- cognitive function
- health services research
- medication safety
- older people
- physical activity