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Open Access Study protocol

Effect of medication review and cognitive behaviour treatment by community pharmacists of patients discharged from the hospital on drug related problems and compliance: design of a randomized controlled trial

Abeer Ahmad1*, Jacqueline Hugtenburg1, Laura MC Welschen2, Jacqueline M Dekker3 and Giel Nijpels2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacy and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Department of General Practice and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:133  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-133

Published: 15 March 2010

Abstract

Background

Drug related problems (DRPs) are common among elderly patients who are discharged from the hospital and are using several drugs for their chronic diseases. Examples of drug related problems are contra-indications, interactions, adverse drug reactions and inefficacy of treatment. Causes of these problems include prescription errors and non-compliance with treatment. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of medication review and cognitive behaviour therapy of discharged patients by community pharmacists to minimize the occurrence of drug related problems.

Methods/Design

A randomized controlled trial will be performed. Community pharmacists will be randomized into a control group and an intervention group. 342 Patients, aged over 60 years, discharged from general and academic hospitals, using five or more prescription drugs for their chronic disease will be asked by their pharmacy to participate in the study.

Patients randomized to the control group will receive usual care according to the Dutch Pharmacy Standard. The medication of patients randomised to the intervention group will be reviewed by the community pharmacist with use of the national guidelines for the treatment of diseases, when patients are discharged from the hospital. The Pharmaceutical Care network Europe Registration form will be used to record drug related problems. Trained pharmacy technicians will counsel patients at home at baseline and at 1,3,6,9 and 12 months, using Cognitive Behaviour Treatment according to the Theory of Planned Behaviour. The patient's attitude towards medication and patient's adherence will be subject of the cognitive behaviour treatment. The counselling methods that will be used are motivational interviewing and problem solving treatment. Patients adherence towards drug use will be determined with use of the Medication Adherence Report Scale Questionnaire. There will be a follow-up of 12 months.

The two primary outcome measures are the difference in occurrence of DRPs between intervention and control group and adherence with drug use. Secondary endpoints are attitude towards drug use, incidence of Re-hospitalisations related to medicines, functional status of the patient, quality of life and the cost-effectiveness of this intervention.

Discussion

Combining both medication review and Cognitive Behaviour Treatment may decrease DRPs and may result in more compliance with drug use among patients discharged from the hospital and using 5 or more chronic drugs.

Trial registration

Dutch Trial Register NTR1194