International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 41–45 | Cite as

Medication reviews in primary care in Sweden: importance of clinical pharmacists’ recommendations on drug-related problems

  • Sara ModigEmail author
  • Lydia Holmdahl
  • Åsa Bondesson
Research Article


Background One way of preventing and solving drug-related problems in frail elderly is to perform team-based medication reviews. Objective To evaluate the quality of the clinical pharmacy service to primary care using structured medication reviews, focusing on the clinical significance of the recommendations made by clinical pharmacists. Setting A random sample of 150 patients (out of 1541) who received structured team based medication reviews. The patients lived at a geriatric nursing home or were ≥65 years and lived in ordinary housing with medication-related community help. Method Based on information on symptoms, kidney function, blood pressure, diagnoses and the medication list, a pharmacist identified possible drug-related problems and supplied recommendations for the general practitioner to act on. Two independent physicians retrospectively ranked the clinical significance of the recommendations according to Hatoum, with rankings ranging between 1 (adverse significance) and 6 (extremely significant). Main outcome measure The clinical significance of the recommendations. Results In total 349 drug-related problems were identified, leading to recommendations. The vast majority of the recommendations (96 %) were judged to have significance 3 or higher and more than the half were judged to have significance 4 or higher. Conclusion The high proportion of clinically significant recommendations provided by pharmacists when performing team-based medication reviews suggest that these clinical pharmacy services have potential to increase prescribing quality. As such, the medication reviews have the potential for contributing to a better and safer drug therapy for elderly patients.


Clinical significance DRP Drug-related problem Medication review Primary care Sweden 



The assistance of Martin Svahn, Master’s student in Clinical Pharmacy, Uppsala University, who helped with the compilation of data, is acknowledged.


The Department of Medicines Management and Informatics, Region Skåne, Sweden funded the study.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicines Management and Informatics in Skåne CountyKristianstadSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Sciences in Malmö/Family MedicineLund UniversityMalmöSweden
  3. 3.Department of MedicineLund University HospitalLundSweden
  4. 4.Department of Laboratory Medicine/Clinical PharmacologyLund UniversityLundSweden

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