Objective: To compare patients' adherence to therapy, expectations, satisfaction with pharmacy services, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) after the provision of pharmaceutical care with those of patients who received traditional pharmacy care.
Design: Randomized controlled cluster design.
Setting: Sixteen community pharmacies in Alberta, Canada.
Patients and other participants: Ambulatory elderly (> or = 65 years of age) patients covered under Alberta Health & Wellness's senior drug benefit plan and who were concurrently using three or more medications according to pharmacy profiles.
Intervention: Pharmacies were randomly assigned to either treatment (intervention) or control (traditional pharmacy care) groups. Patients at treatment pharmacies were recruited into the study, and pharmacists provided comprehensive pharmaceutical care services. Pharmacists at control pharmacies continued to provide traditional pharmacy care.
Main outcome measures: Study participants' opinions, adherence to therapy, and scores on the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36).
Results: Compared with those of patients receiving traditional care, treatment patients' expectations that their pharmacist would perform activities congruent with pharmaceutical care changed over the study period. Treatment patients' satisfaction with the constructs "trust," "evaluation and goal setting," and "communicates with doctor" were also positively affected. HRQOL and patient adherence were not significantly affected by pharmaceutical care interventions.
Conclusion: Successful implementation of a pharmaceutical care practice model has the potential to increase patients' satisfaction with their pharmacists' activities and may increase patients' expectations that pharmacists will work on their behalf to assist them with their health care needs. If pharmaceutical care affects patients' HRQOL, instruments more specific than the SF-36 may be needed to detect the differences.