Impact of the pharmacist-led intervention on the control of medical cardiovascular risk factors for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in general practice: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2020 Jan;86(1):29-38. doi: 10.1111/bcp.14164. Epub 2020 Jan 3.


Aims: To conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of general practice-based pharmacist interventions in reducing the medical risk factors for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events.

Methods: A systemic search was undertaken in 8 databases: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBAS, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, CINAHL Plus, SCOPUS and Science Citation Index, with no start date up to 27 March 2019. Randomised controlled trials assessing the effectiveness of pharmacist-led interventions delivered in the general practice in reducing the medical risk factors of cardiovascular events were included in the review. The risk of bias in the studies was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool.

Results: A total of 1604 studies were identified, with 21 randomised controlled trials (8933 patients) meeting the inclusion criteria. Fourteen studies were conducted in patients with diabetes, 7 in hypertension, 2 involving dyslipidaemia, and 2 with hypertension and diabetes together. The most frequently used interventions were medication review and medication management. The quality of the included studies was variable. Patients receiving pharmacist-led interventions were associated with a statistically significant reduction in their systolic blood pressure (-9.33 mmHg [95% Confidence Interval (CI) -13.36 to -5.30]), haemoglobin A1C (-0.76% [95% CI -1.15 to -0.37]) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (-15.19 mg/dL [95% CI -24.05 to -6.33]). Moreover, practice-based pharmacists' interventions were also reported to have a positive impact on patient adherence to medications.

Conclusion: The findings of this review suggest that pharmacist-led interventions in general practice can significantly reduce the medical risk factors of cardiovascular disease events. These findings support the involvement of pharmacists as healthcare providers in managing patients with hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidaemia.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; general practice; pharmacist.

Publication types

  • Review