Objective: To evaluate the effects of pharmaceutical care on selected humanistic outcomes in patients with hypertension or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Design: Clinic patients with hypertension or COPD were randomly assigned to a treatment group (pharmaceutical care) or a control group (traditional pharmacy care) over a six-month period. Clinical pharmacists and pharmacy residents conducted the protocols. There were 133 evaluable patients (63 treatment, 70 control) in the hypertension study arm and 98 evaluable patients (43 treatment, 55 control) in the COPD study arm. The Pharmaceutical Care Questionnaire evaluated patient satisfaction with care. Tests specific to the disease states assessed disease and disease management knowledge. Quality of life (QOL) was evaluated using the Health Status Questionnaire 2.0 (HSQ 2.0) in the COPD arm; in the hypertension arm, the Hypertension/Lipid TyPE Specification Form 5.1 was used.
Setting: Ambulatory care centers of 10 Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) medical centers and 1 university medical center.
Interventions: Patient-centered pharmaceutical care model (employing standardized care) implemented by clinical pharmacy residents.
Main outcome measures: Satisfaction with pharmaceutical care, disease and disease management knowledge, and QOL.
Results: Statistically significant differences in most satisfaction items were found, with treatment patients expressing greater satisfaction. Treatment groups in both arms strongly agreed that pharmacists helped them with confidence in use of their medication and understanding of their illness, gave complete explanations about their medications, made them feel that their care was a priority, and followed up on their questions and concerns. In the hypertension arm, treatment patients demonstrated significant increases in knowledge scores. Trends in QOL were positive for both hypertension groups, with a significant decrease found in number of treatment patients reporting problems with sexual function. In the COPD arm, improvement trends were significantly stronger for treatment patients.
Conclusion: Although patients were not dissatisfied with traditional pharmacy care, they were more satisfied overall with the pharmaceutical care model.