Probing pharmacists' interventions in Long-Term Care: a systematic review

Eur Geriatr Med. 2021 Aug;12(4):673-693. doi: 10.1007/s41999-021-00469-5. Epub 2021 Mar 20.


Purpose: Long-Term Care (LTC) systems have experienced recent developments driven by changes in healthcare and demography (e.g. population ageing). As well, pharmacists are changing from traditional roles to more patient-oriented services. The present study aimed to identify and assess pharmacists' and/or pharmacy-based interventions in institutional LTC settings, also mapping relevant medications.

Methods: The review was undertaken in general accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA), using three main literature databases (PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge). A set of 16 keywords, divided into three domains (professional, type of care and type of setting), were combined into search equations. Selected studies were assessed through the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies.

Results: Twenty-six studies met the inclusion criteria, out of 794 initial hits. Most studies (12) described pharmacist/pharmacy-driven interventions assessing Medication Management Reviews' impact in different endpoints or outcomes. Other studies (3) assessed pharmacists' interventions on specific medication groups. Good Administration Practices, new pharmaceutical care models, antibiotic stewardship programs, and studies assessing other pharmacists' interventions, such as pharmacy-managed informatics and education, were addressed by 11 other papers. Six studies were classified as Strong after quality assessment.

Conclusion: LTC is a clinically complex type of care benefiting from interdisciplinary work. Despite the overall lower quality of the identified studies, pharmacists perform in a wide array of LTC areas. The broad implementation of pharmaceutical activities in institutional LTC settings opens opportunities to optimise medicines' use.

Keywords: Long-Term Care [MeSH]; Nursing home [MeSH]; Pharmaceutical services [MeSH]; Pharmacists [MeSH].

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care
  • Pharmaceutical Services*
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional Role