Drug Safety

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 131–146 | Cite as

Tools for Assessing Potential Significance of Pharmacist Interventions: A Systematic Review

  • Thi-Ha Vo
  • Bruno Charpiat
  • Claire Catoire
  • Michel Juste
  • Renaud Roubille
  • François-Xavier Rose
  • Sébastien Chanoine
  • Jean-Luc Bosson
  • Ornella Conort
  • Benoît Allenet
  • Pierrick BedouchEmail author
  • On Behalf of the Working Group “Standardizing and Demonstrating the Value of Clinical Pharmacy Activities” of the French Society for Clinical Pharmacy
Systematic Review



Assessing the significance of pharmacist interventions (PIs) is essential to demonstrate the added value of pharmacists. Methods and tools for assessing the potential significance of PIs are diverse and their properties are questionable.


We aimed to systematically review the tools available to assess the potential significance of PIs.


We conducted a systematic search for English- or French-language publications from 1986 to 2013 in PubMed, PsycINFO, PASCAL, and CINAHL. Studies were screened by two independent reviewers based on inclusion/exclusion criteria and were abstracted for content, structure of tools, and validation process.


Of 873 citations screened, 82 distinct tools were identified from 133 studies. While clinical aspects were often defined quite clearly, terminology regarding humanistic, economic, and process-related aspects of PIs was omitted, incomplete, or ambiguous in most tools. The probabilities of consequences of PIs/drug-related problems were evaluated in 20/82 tools. Few tools simultaneously measured economic, clinical, humanistic, and process-related variables. Structure of the tools varied from an implicit, mono-dimensional tool to an explicit, multi-dimensional algorithm. Validation processes were diverse in terms of quantification and number of raters, rating method, and psychometric parameters. Of 133 identified studies, there was limited evidence of validity (8/133, 6.0 %), inter-rater reliability (49/133, 36.8 %), and intra-rater reliability (2/133, 1.5 %).


The majority of tools focused primarily on assessing clinical aspects and failed to detect comprehensive impacts. The heterogeneity of tools and assessment processes hindered our ability to synthesize the results of evaluations. Limited results for their validity and reliability cast doubt on the credibility of this methodology for justification of the value of PIs. Recommendations for development of tools with optimal theoretical, pragmatic, and psychometric properties are proposed.


Electronic Supplementary Material Potential Significance Pharmaceutical Care Pharmacist Intervention Humanistic Outcome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank Dr. Alison Foote (Grenoble Clinical Research Centre) for critically reading and editing the manuscript; the librarians of the Grenoble Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy; and Monique Boucquin from CDIP, Hospices Civils de Lyon for the literature search.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this study.

Conflict of interest

Thi-Ha Vo, Bruno Charpiat, Claire Catoire, Michel Juste, Renaud Roubille, François-Xavier Rose, Sébastien Chanoine, Jean-Luc Bosson, Ornella Conort, Benoît Allenet, and Pierrick Bedouch declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

40264_2015_370_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (134 kb)
Supplementary material 1: Assessment of Risk of Bias in Studies (PDF 134 kb)
40264_2015_370_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (61 kb)
Supplementary material 2: Criteria of quality of a tool for assessing significance of PIs (PDF 60 kb)
40264_2015_370_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (662 kb)
Supplementary material 3: Content and Structure of tools in 133 identified studies (PDF 662 kb)
40264_2015_370_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (640 kb)
Supplementary material 4: Process of Validation of tools in 133 identified studies (PDF 640 kb)
40264_2015_370_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (278 kb)
Supplementary material 5: Indicators used in existing tools for assessment of potential significance of PIs (PDF 277 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thi-Ha Vo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bruno Charpiat
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Claire Catoire
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Michel Juste
    • 5
  • Renaud Roubille
    • 6
  • François-Xavier Rose
    • 7
  • Sébastien Chanoine
    • 1
    • 4
  • Jean-Luc Bosson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ornella Conort
    • 8
  • Benoît Allenet
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Pierrick Bedouch
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • On Behalf of the Working Group “Standardizing and Demonstrating the Value of Clinical Pharmacy Activities” of the French Society for Clinical Pharmacy
  1. 1.Univ. Grenoble AlpesGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.CNRS, TIMC-IMAGGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Hospices Civils de LyonHôpital de la Croix-Rousse, PharmacieLyonFrance
  4. 4.Pôle Pharmacie, Pavillon VercorsCHU GrenobleGrenoble cedex 9France
  5. 5.Centre Hospitalier Auban-Moët, PharmacieEpernayFrance
  6. 6.Centre Hospitalier Lucien Hussel, PharmacieVienneFrance
  7. 7.EPSM-Morbihan, PharmacieSaint-AvéFrance
  8. 8.Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de ParisHôpital Cochin, PharmacieParisFrance

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