BMJ Qual Saf 20:738-746 doi:10.1136/bmjqs.2009.039693
  • Original research

Effects of a clinical pharmacist service on health-related quality of life and prescribing of drugs: a randomised controlled trial

  1. Susanna M Wallerstedt1
  1. 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to SM Wallerstedt, Clinical Pharmacology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden; susanna.wallerstedt{at}
  • Accepted 7 July 2010
  • Published Online First 5 January 2011


Objective To evaluate the effects of a clinical pharmacist service on health-related quality of life (HRQL) and prescribing of drugs.

Methods A randomised controlled study was performed in two internal medicine wards. The intervention consisted of medication reviews with feedback to the physicians, drug treatment discussion with patients at discharge and medication reports. HRQL was evaluated at inclusion and after six months by self-rated global health (1: very poor; 5: very good) and by the EuroQol 5-dimension questionnaire (EQ-5D). Prescribing of drugs was analysed regarding three established drug-specific quality indicators (intervention and control patients) and potential drug-related problems (DRPs) during in-hospital care (intervention patients).

Results 345 patients (61% female; median age: 82) were analysed, 204 of whom (59%) completed the six-month HRQL follow-up. A total of 87 patients (53% of the intervention patients) received all parts of the intervention. Intention-to-treat analysis revealed no significant findings for any of the HRQL measures. Per-protocol analysis revealed significantly better HRQL in the intervention group at six-month follow-up as measured by global health (mean: 3.14 (SD: 0.87) vs 2.77 (0.94), p=0.020), but not as measured by summarised EQ-5D index (0.48 (0.36) vs 0.43 (0.37), p=0.57). The number of potentially inappropriate prescribings per patient according to the quality indicators (admission vs discharge) was 0.35 (0.73) versus 0.38 (0.72), p=0.47 (control patients), and 0.39 (0.83) versus 0.26 (0.56), p=0.039 (intervention patients who received the intervention). In the intervention group, 133 relevant potential DRPs were identified in 81 patients, 55 of which (41%) were acted upon by the attending physician.

Conclusion A clinical pharmacist service during inpatient care may improve quality of prescribing and patients' HRQL.

Trial registration Identifier: NCT01016301.


  • Funding Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the regional ethics committee in Göteborg.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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