Medicine use and medicine related problems in patients with liver cirrhosis: a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This review aimed to determine the prevalence, causes and risk factors of medicine-related problems (MRPs) in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Eight online databases were searched up to 30 September 2018 with no start date. Appropriate Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tools were used to assess the quality of included studies.

An overall 16 quantitative and 11 qualitative studies were included in the review. Methodological quality of the included studies was variable. Mean frequency of MRPs reported in the quantitative studies ranged from 14 to 23.4%. The most frequent causes of MRPs included drug interactions, inappropriate dosing and use of contraindicated drugs. The qualitative analysis identified three themes: patient-related factors, healthcare professionals' related factors and stigma associated with liver cirrhosis.

MRPs were found to be prevalent in patients with liver cirrhosis. Factors contributing to MRPs in liver cirrhosis were not limited to medicines' effects and interactions but included healthcare systems and patients. Therefore, management of liver cirrhosis should not be limited to providing an effective medicine therapy and should take into account the patients' behaviour towards the condition.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1058
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number8
Early online date11 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Liver cirrhosis, Medicine-related problems, Quantitative, Qualitative, Systematic review