A tool to characterize the components of pharmacist interventions in clinical pharmacy services: the DEPICT project

Ann Pharmacother. Jul-Aug 2013;47(7-8):946-52. doi: 10.1345/aph.1S006. Epub 2013 Jun 11.


Background: The complexity of clinical pharmacy services usually leads to an inconsistent or even poor description of their interventions in scientific reports. To ensure comparability and reproducibility of the evidence, an in-depth description of pharmacist interventions is required.

Objective: To validate a new tool called DEPICT (Descriptive Elements of Pharmacist Intervention Characterization Tool) to characterize clinical pharmacy services.

Methods: We developed a 3-phase study. First, to create a theoretical framework, an overview of systematic reviews was performed in PubMed between 2000 and 2010. Then, an in-depth analysis of the included studies was carried out to identify a list of components in order to create the instrument. Finally, 2 independent raters separately applied the tool to a random sample of 28 randomized clinical trials extracted from the systematic reviews. Interrater agreement was evaluated using PABAK (prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted κ) coefficient or intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results: We included 49 systematic reviews in our overview. Analysis of these studies resulted in 58 intervention components, with 57 dichotomous variables and 1 discrete variable. These items resulted in a preliminary version of the instrument. The reliability analysis showed that 8 binary items of this version had a PABAK less than or equal to 0.60. These items were then excluded or modified, resulting in a final version of the tool, with 54 items organized into 12 domains. DEPICT showed an average PABAK of 0.85 (95% CI 0.81 to 0.88) and an ICC of 1.0. Twenty items presented a PABAK value between 0.61 and 0.80 (substantial agreement) and 33 had a value between 0.81 and 1.0 (almost perfect agreement).

Conclusions: DEPICT is a reproducible instrument for describing the components of pharmacist interventions performed as part of clinical pharmacy services. It allows retrospective analysis of published studies and can be used as a reference guide to report pharmacist interventions in future studies.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Early Medical Intervention / methods*
  • Early Medical Intervention / standards
  • Humans
  • Pharmacists* / standards
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / methods*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / standards
  • Professional Role*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies