Clinical Pharmacy Services in a Multidisciplinary Specialty Pain Clinic

Pain Pract. 2019 Mar;19(3):303-309. doi: 10.1111/papr.12745. Epub 2018 Dec 24.


Purpose: To describe a model of clinical pharmacy services as part of a multidisciplinary specialty pain clinic by discussing (1) the role of a clinical pharmacist in a specialty setting, including clinical interventions implemented, and (2) how integration of a clinical pharmacist may translate into an improved patient care model for the management of chronic pain.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of pharmacist visits from October 1, 2013, to September 30, 2015, in a specialty pain clinic at an academic medical center in Los Angeles, California. Data were collected regarding medication-related problems (MRPs) identified by the pharmacist, interventions implemented to resolve the MRPs, and types of medication care coordination activities (MCCAs) performed by the pharmacist, such as responding to medication refill requests and insurance issues. Descriptive statistics were used. Institutional review board approval was obtained prior to initiating the study.

Results: At least 1 MRP was identified in 98.7% of the 380 visits. Problems identified by the clinical pharmacist were divided into 5 categories: medication refills needed (43%), medication appropriateness/effectiveness (18%), miscellaneous (17%), safety (16%), and nonadherence/patient variables (6%). Interventions focused on referral to appropriate providers, medication counseling, medication initiation, dose adjustment, and medication discontinuation. The most common MCCA was responding to refill requests.

Conclusion: A clinical pharmacist can identify many MRPs and implement interventions in chronic pain management. Integration of clinical pharmacy services may improve practice management by facilitating the completion of MCCAs and increase access to patients' needs outside the clinic.

Keywords: chronic pain; clinical pharmacy; multidisciplinary pain centers; multidisciplinary pain clinics; pain; pain management; pharmacist; practice management.

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain Clinics / organization & administration*
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Patient Care
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pharmacists / organization & administration*
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Retrospective Studies