The impact of clinical pharmacist services on patient health outcomes in Pakistan: a systematic review

Ali Ahmed, Muhammad Saqlain, Maria Tanveer, Ali Qais Blebil, Juman Abdulelah Dujaili, Syed Shahzad Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The pharmacist’s role shifts from dispensing to bedside care, resulting in better patient health outcomes. Pharmacists in developed countries ensure rational drug use, improve clinical outcomes, and promote health status by working as part of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals. However, clinical pharmacist services on healthcare utilization in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) like Pakistan are unclear. As a result, we aim to systematically review pharmacists’ clinical roles in improving Pakistani patients’ therapeutic, safety, humanistic, and economic outcomes. Methods: We searched PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Cochrane Library for relevant articles published from inception to 28th February 2021. All authors were involved in the screening and selection of studies. Original studies investigating the therapeutic, humanistic, safety, and economic impact of clinical pharmacists in Pakistani patients (hospitalised or outpatients) were selected. Two reviewers independently assessed the risk of bias in studies, and discrepancies were resolved through mutual consensus. All of the included studies were descriptively synthesised, and PRISMA reporting guidelines were followed. Results: The literature search found 751 articles from which nine studies were included; seven were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), and two were observational studies. Three RCTs included were having a low risk of bias (ROB), two RCTs were having an unclear ROB, while two RCTs were having a high ROB. The nature of clinical pharmacist interventions included one or more components such as disease-related education, lifestyle changes, medication adherence counselling, medication therapy management, and discussions with physicians about prescription modification if necessary. Clinical pharmacist interventions reduce medication-related errors, improve therapeutic outcomes such as blood pressure, glycemic control, lipid control, CD4 T lymphocytes, and renal functions, and improve humanistic outcomes such as patient knowledge, adherence, and health-related quality of life. However, no study reported the economic outcomes of interventions. Conclusions: The findings of the studies included in this systematic review suggest that clinical pharmacists play important roles in improving patients’ health outcomes in Pakistan; however, it should be noted that the majority of the studies have a high risk of bias, and more research with appropriate study designs is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number859
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021

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