Effectiveness of the Pharmacist-Involved Multidisciplinary Management of Heart Failure to Improve Hospitalizations and Mortality Rates in 4630 Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

J Card Fail. 2019 Sep;25(9):744-756. doi: 10.1016/j.cardfail.2019.07.455. Epub 2019 Jul 24.


Background: There is evidence that heart failure (HF) patients who receive pharmacist care have better clinical outcomes.

Methods and results: English-language peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials comparing the pharmacist-involved multidisciplinary intervention with usual care were included. We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Web of Science, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library from inception through March 2017. Cochrane method for risk of bias was used to assess within and between studies. 18 RCTs (n = 4630) were included for systematic review, and 16 (n = 4447) for meta-analysis. Meta-analysis showed a significant reduction in HF hospitalizations {odds ratio (OR) 0.72 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-0.93], P = .01, I2 = 39%} but no effect on HF mortality. Similarly, a significant reduction in all-cause hospitalizations [OR 0.76, 95% CI (0.60-0.96), P = .02, I2 = 52%] but no effect on all-cause mortality was revealed. The overall trend was an improvement in medication adherence. There were significant improvements in HF knowledge (P<.05), but no significant improvements were found on health care costs and self-care.

Conclusions: The pharmacist is a vital member of a multidisciplinary team in HF management to improve clinical outcomes. There was a great deal of variability about which specific intervention is most effective in improving clinical outcomes.

Keywords: Heart failure; Hospitalization; Meta-analysis; Mortality; Multidisciplinary team; Pharmacist.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Heart Failure* / mortality
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mortality
  • Patient Care Team / standards*
  • Pharmacists*
  • Professional Role
  • Quality Improvement
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic