Pharmacist Assessment and Adherence, Risk and Treatment in Cardiovascular Disease

Project Details
Project ID: IIG-015
Type: Investigator Initiated
Status: Completed
Institution: Monash University
Chief Investigator: Mr Kevin McNamara

Project Summary

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 18% of disease burden in Australia, and 35% of deaths. Evidence based management of CVD risk requires systematic consideration of individual risk factors and overall CVD risk, and a balanced approach to lifestyle modification, the optimal use of medicines, and medicines adherence.

This project examines a pilot model for primary prevention of CVD in community pharmacy aimed at improving quality of care. Pharmacists from ten pharmacies received training in CVD risk factor management and facilitating patient lifestyle modification.

They recruited 70 participants aged 50-74 years, taking medicines for blood pressure (BP) or cholesterol, and without diabetes or CVD. At baseline, research assistants conducted a clinical assessment of anthropometric and biomedical risk factors, and conducted interviews to examine health behaviours, medicines use and related issues. Data was analysed by a consultant pharmacist and summary reports produced, with recommendations and targets for risk reduction. These were addressed by patients and their community pharmacists over five monthly sessions.

At follow up, the relative risk reduction for CVD onset over the next five years was 24%, contributed to by reductions in mean systolic BP (-7mmHg), diastolic BP (-5 mmHg), total:HDL cholesterol ratio (–0.2), waist circumference (–2cm in males, –0.7cm in females) and other risk factors.

Several key health behaviours improved, including diet quality and physical activity levels. Prevalence of non-adherence to cardiovascular medicines dropped by 16% to 22%.

The potential health benefits from this intervention need to be confirmed via larger, controlled clinical trials.

Overall, this appears to be a feasible and potentially effective public health measure.