Pharmacy care and adherence to primary and secondary prevention cardiovascular medication: a systematic review of studies

ZS Jalal, F Smith, D Taylor, H Patel, K Finlay, S Antoniou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To determine if pharmacy service intervention can lead to enhanced adherence to primary and secondary cardiovascular medication and to identify features of interventions that have been found to be effective and feasible.

Methods A systematic search of studies related to pharmacy service interventions on adherence and outcomes of cardiovascular diseases was performed using the following databases: PubMed Central UK, PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINHAL, PsycINFO, EMBASE, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts and Google Scholar for the period from 1 January 1990 to 19 November 2013. Trials were included if they were randomised control trials, studies delivered in hospital or community settings, and studies in English language. A hand search of relevant citations was also performed.

Key findings Forty-two studies were identified of which 26 had a statistically significant effect on adherence and twenty-seven had a significant effect on clinical outcomes of cardiovascular disease. The interventions included mainly patient education, collaboration between healthcare professionals, use of electronic devices and combined interventions. The interventions were found to be complex and included multiple components. Patient contact with a pharmacist was frequent and thus the interventions may be difficult to adapt to daily practice. Evidence-based data for pharmacy services remain weak but clearly pharmacists can have an impact through face-to-face patient education and telephone consultations. Further research is needed to evaluate the use of a motivational interview in the counselling session of a pharmacist and also to establish the continuity of pharmacy care in primary/secondary setting. Self-reported adherence was the most widely used measure. The acceptable threshold remained 80% among the cardiac population.

Conclusion Pharmacist interventions have been shown to be successful in enhancing adherence to cardiovascular medication and improving outcomes of cardiovascular diseases. Whilst pharmacists play a fundamental role in primary and secondary prevention strategies, further randomised controlled trials combining patient education with behaviour change are likely to reap further benefit in medication adherence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2014


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