Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 216–223 | Cite as

Drug-related problems identified in medication reviews by Australian pharmacists

  • Andrew C. StaffordEmail author
  • Peter C. Tenni
  • Gregory M. Peterson
  • Shane L. Jackson
  • Anne Hejlesen
  • Christine Villesen
  • Mette Rasmussen
Research Article


Objective In Australia, accredited pharmacists perform medication reviews for patients to identify and resolve drug-related problems. We analysed the drug-related problems identified in reviews for both home-dwelling and residential care-facility patients. The objective of this study was to examine the number and nature of the drug-related problems identified and investigate differences between each type of review. Setting Australian patients living at home or in residential care-facilities. Method We collected a nation-wide sample of medication reviews conducted between 1998 and 2005. These reviews had been self-selected by pharmacists and submitted as part of the reaccreditation process to the primary body responsible for accrediting Australian pharmacists to perform medication reviews. The drug-related problems identified in each review were classified by type and drugs involved. Main outcome measure The number and nature of drug-related problems identified in pharmacist-conducted medication reviews. Results There were 1,038 drug-related problems identified in 234 medication reviews (mean 4.6 (±2.2) problems per review). The number of problems was higher (4.9 ± 2.0 vs. 3.9 ± 2.2; < 0.001) in reviews for home-dwelling patients compared with care-facility residents. The number of clinically-significant problems was higher (2.1 ± 1.1 vs. 1.5 ± 0.7; P < 0.001) for home-dwelling patients. Oral hypoglycaemics and analgesics/antipyretics were significantly more likely to be associated with problems in home-dwelling patients than in residential care-facility patients. Conclusion These data illustrate the prevalence of drug-related problems and the ability of pharmacists to identify these problems in the Australian models of medication review. The nature and frequency of problems varied between reviews for home-dwelling and care-facility patients. Such information may be used to better focus the training of practitioners based on the most frequently encountered health problems and the nature of common drug-related problems in the two settings.


Australia Drug-related problems Medication-related problems Medication review Pharmaceutical care Pharmacist 



The assistance with data collection provided by Mr. Bill Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacists, is acknowledged with gratitude.



Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew C. Stafford
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter C. Tenni
    • 1
  • Gregory M. Peterson
    • 1
  • Shane L. Jackson
    • 1
  • Anne Hejlesen
    • 2
  • Christine Villesen
    • 2
  • Mette Rasmussen
    • 2
  1. 1.Unit for Medication Outcomes Research and Education, School of PharmacyUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  2. 2.The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacology and PharmacotherapyUniversity of CopenhagenHelsingørDenmark

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