Clinical pharmacist implementation of a medication assessment tool for long-term management of atrial fibrillation in older persons

Keywords: Atrial Fibrillation, Disease Management, Drug Utilization Review, Medication Therapy Management, Inappropriate Prescribing, Pharmaceutical Services, Pharmacists, Aged, Clinical Audit, Malta


Background: Optimisation of drug therapy is important in the older population and may be facilitated by medication assessment tools (MATs).

Objective: The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether appropriateness of drug therapy and clinical pharmacist intervention documentation improved following implementation of a previously developed MAT for the long-term management of atrial fibrillation (MAT-AF).

Methods: Adherence to MAT-AF review criteria and clinical pharmacist intervention documentation was assessed by the researcher pre-MAT implementation in 150 patients aged ≥60 years admitted to a rehabilitation hospital with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation. MAT-AF was introduced as a clinical tool in the hospital for identification of pharmaceutical care issues in atrial fibrillation patients. Adherence to MAT-AF and pharmacist intervention documentation were assessed by the researcher post-MAT implementation for a further 150 patients with the same inclusion criteria. Logistic regression analysis and measurement of odds ratio was used to identify differences in adherence to MAT-AF pre- and post-MAT implementation. The differences between two population proportions z-test was used to compare pharmacist intervention documentation pre- and post-MAT implementation.

Results: Adherence to MAT-AF criteria increased from 70.9% pre-implementation to 89.6% post-implementation. MAT-AF implementation resulted in a significant improvement in prescription of anticoagulant therapy (OR 4.07, p<0.001) and monitoring of laboratory parameters for digoxin (OR 10.40, p<0.001). Clinical pharmacist intervention documentation improved significantly post-implementation of MAT-AF (z-score 20.249, p<0.001).

Conclusions: Implementation of MAT-AF within an interdisciplinary health care team significantly improved the appropriateness of drug therapy and pharmacist intervention documentation in older patients with atrial fibrillation. 


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