Identification of patients with atrial fibrillation in UK community pharmacy: an evaluation of a new service
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Background Many patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) are asymptomatic and diagnosed via opportunistic screening. Community pharmacy has been advocated as a potential resource for opportunistic screening and lifestyle interventions. Objective The objective of this evaluation is to describe the outcomes from an AF service, in terms of referrals and interventions provided to patients identified as not at risk. Methods Eligibility was assessed from pharmacy records and the completion of a short questionnaire. Once consented, patients were screened for AF and their blood pressure was measured. Results Of 594 patients screened, nine were identified as at risk of having AF and were referred to their GP. The service also identified 109 patients with undiagnosed hypertension, 176 patients with a Body Mass Index >30, 131 with an Audit-C score >5 and 59 smokers. Pharmacists provided 413 interventions in 326 patients aimed at weight reduction (239), alcohol consumption (123) and smoking cessation (51). Conclusion This evaluation characterises the interventions provided to, not only those identified with the target condition—in this case AF—but also those without it. The true outcome of these additional interventions, along with appropriate follow-up, should be the focus of future studies.
KeywordsAtrial fibrillation Community pharmacy Pharmacy services Risk assessment United Kingdom
The authors wish to thank the pharmacists who provided the service.
The implementation of this service was funded by Alphega pharmacy and the pharmacists received no additional payment for providing it to their patients.
Conflicts of interest
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