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1.  Case management for blood pressure and lipid level control after minor stroke: PREVENTION randomized controlled trial 
Optimization of systolic blood pressure and lipid levels are essential for secondary prevention after ischemic stroke, but there are substantial gaps in care, which could be addressed by nurse- or pharmacist-led care. We compared 2 types of case management (active prescribing by pharmacists or nurse-led screening and feedback to primary care physicians) in addition to usual care.
We performed a prospective randomized controlled trial involving adults with recent minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack whose systolic blood pressure or lipid levels were above guideline targets. Participants in both groups had a monthly visit for 6 months with either a nurse or pharmacist. Nurses measured cardiovascular risk factors, counselled patients and faxed results to primary care physicians (active control). Pharmacists did all of the above as well as prescribed according to treatment algorithms (intervention).
Most of the 279 study participants (mean age 67.6 yr, mean systolic blood pressure 134 mm Hg, mean low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol 3.23 mmol/L) were already receiving treatment at baseline (antihypertensives: 78.1%; statins: 84.6%), but none met guideline targets (systolic blood pressure ≤ 140 mm Hg, fasting LDL cholesterol ≤ 2.0 mmol/L). Substantial improvements were observed in both groups after 6 months: 43.4% of participants in the pharmacist case manager group met both systolic blood pressure and LDL guideline targets compared with 30.9% in the nurse-led group (12.5% absolute difference; number needed to treat = 8, p = 0.03).
Compared with nurse-led case management (risk factor evaluation, counselling and feedback to primary care providers), active case management by pharmacists substantially improved risk factor control at 6 months among patients who had experienced a stroke. Trial registration:, no. NCT00931788
PMCID: PMC4016053  PMID: 24733770
2.  The “D” word / Ça commence par un « D »… 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(3):133-134.
PMCID: PMC4025882  PMID: 24847361
4.  Pharmacy study of natural health product adverse reactions (SONAR): a cross-sectional study using active surveillance in community pharmacies to detect adverse events associated with natural health products and assess causality 
BMJ Open  2014;4(3):e003431.
To investigate the rates and causality of adverse event(s) (AE) associated with natural health product (NHP) use, prescription drug use and concurrent NHP-drug use through active surveillance in community pharmacies.
Cross-sectional study of screened patients.
10 community pharmacies across Alberta and British Columbia, Canada from 14 January to 30 July 2011.
The participating pharmacy staff screened consecutive patients, or agents of patients, who were dropping or picking up prescription medications.
Primary outcome measures
Patients were screened to determine the proportions of them using prescription drugs and/or NHPs, as well as their respective AE rates. All AEs reported by the screened patients who took a NHP, consented to, and were available for, a detailed telephone interview (14%) were adjudicated fully to assess for causality.
Over a total of 105 pharmacy weeks and 1118 patients screened, 410 patients reported taking prescription drugs only (36.7%; 95% CI 33.9% to 39.5%), 37 reported taking NHPs only (3.3%; 95% CI 2.4% to 4.5%) and 657 reported taking prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently (58.8%; 95% CI 55.9% to 61.6%). In total, 54 patients reported an AE, representing 1.2% (95% CI 0.51% to 2.9%), 2.7% (95% CI 0.4% to 16.9%) and 7.3% (95% CI 5.6% to 9.6%) of each population, respectively. Compared with patients who reported using prescription drugs, the patients who reported using prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently were 6.4 times more likely to experience an AE (OR; 95% CI 2.52 to 16.17; p<0.001). Combined with data from Ontario, Canada, a national proportion was calculated, which found that 45.4% (95% CI 43.8% to 47.0%) of Canadians who visit community pharmacies take NHPs and prescription drugs concurrently, and of those, 7.4% (95% CI 6.3% to 8.8%) report an AE.
A substantial proportion of community pharmacy patients use prescription drugs and NHPs concurrently; these patients are at a greater risk of experiencing an AE. Active surveillance provides a means of detecting such AEs and collecting high-quality data on which causality assessment can be based.
PMCID: PMC3975764  PMID: 24682573
Complementary Medicine; Toxicology
6.  Mixed messages 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2014;147(2):118-123.
More than 5 years ago, the Blueprint for Pharmacy developed a plan for transitioning pharmacy practice toward more patient-centred care. Much of the strategy for change involves communicating the new vision.
To evaluate the communication of the Vision for Pharmacy by the organizations and corporations that signed the Blueprint for Pharmacy’s Commitment to Act.
The list of 88 signatories of the Commitment to Act was obtained from the Blueprint for Pharmacy document. The website of each of these signatories was searched for all references to the Blueprint for Pharmacy or Vision for Pharmacy. Each of the identified references was then analyzed using summative content analysis.
A total of 934 references were identified from the webpages of the 88 signatories. Of these references, 549 were merely links to the Blueprint for Pharmacy’s website, 350 of the references provided some detailed information about the Blueprint for Pharmacy and only 35 references provided any specific plans to transition pharmacy practice.
Widespread proliferation of the Vision for Pharmacy has not been achieved. One possible explanation for this is that communication of the vision by the signatories has been incomplete. To ensure the success of future communications, change leaders must develop strategies that consider how individual pharmacists and pharmacies understand the message.
PMCID: PMC3962058  PMID: 24660012
8.  New year, new challenges 
PMCID: PMC3962064  PMID: 24660007
9.  Don’t tamper with oxycodone 
PMCID: PMC3563880  PMID: 23296585
10.  Association between frailty and short- and long-term outcomes among critically ill patients: a multicentre prospective cohort study 
Frailty is a multidimensional syndrome characterized by loss of physiologic and cognitive reserves that confers vulnerability to adverse outcomes. We determined the prevalence, correlates and outcomes associated with frailty among adults admitted to intensive care.
We prospectively enrolled 421 critically ill adults aged 50 or more at 6 hospitals across the province of Alberta. The primary exposure was frailty, defined by a score greater than 4 on the Clinical Frailty Scale. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcome measures included adverse events, 1-year mortality and quality of life.
The prevalence of frailty was 32.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] 28.3%–37.5%). Frail patients were older, were more likely to be female, and had more comorbidities and greater functional dependence than those who were not frail. In-hospital mortality was higher among frail patients than among non-frail patients (32% v. 16%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.81, 95% CI 1.09–3.01) and remained higher at 1 year (48% v. 25%; adjusted hazard ratio 1.82, 95% CI 1.28–2.60). Major adverse events were more common among frail patients (39% v. 29%; OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.01–2.37). Compared with nonfrail survivors, frail survivors were more likely to become functionally dependent (71% v. 52%; OR 2.25, 95% CI 1.03–4.89), had significantly lower quality of life and were more often readmitted to hospital (56% v. 39%; OR 1.98, 95% CI 1.22–3.23) in the 12 months following enrolment.
Frailty was common among critically ill adults aged 50 and older and identified a population at increased risk of adverse events, morbidity and mortality. Diagnosis of frailty could improve prognostication and identify a vulnerable population that might benefit from follow-up and intervention.
PMCID: PMC3903764  PMID: 24277703
12.  Moving on and adapting after 4 months 
PMCID: PMC3908622  PMID: 24494010
14.  Publicly funded remuneration for the administration of injections by pharmacists 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(6):353-364.
The administration of injections has become an increasingly common addition to pharmacists’ scope of practice. Four Canadian provinces, all US states and a number of other countries have regulations allowing pharmacists to administer injections. However, the extent to which such services are remunerated is unknown.
We contacted regulatory and advocacy organizations within those jurisdictions where pharmacists are authorized to administer injections to identify publicly funded programs that pay pharmacists for these services, as well as details of the eligible drugs/vaccines. Patient or private insurer payment programs were excluded.
Of the 281 organizations we contact-ed, 104 provided information on a total of 34 pharmacist vaccination programs throughout Canada, the United States, England, Wales and Ireland. Converted to 2013 Canadian dollars, remuneration averages $13.12 (SD $4.63) per injection (range, $4.14-$21.21). All regions allow pharmacists to bill for administration of the influenza vaccine, while some states allow for a number of other vaccines. Alberta has the broadest range of injections eligible for remuneration.
Despite evidence of increased vaccination rates in areas allowing pharmacist administration of injections, the availability of publicly funded remuneration programs and the fee offered vary by more than 5-fold across North America and the United Kingdom.
Pharmacist-administered injections have great public health potential. The range of injections eligible for remuneration should be expanded to include a wide range of vaccines and other injectable drugs, and remuneration should be sufficient to encourage more pharmacists to provide this service.
PMCID: PMC3819957  PMID: 24228051
15.  On becoming a new pharmacist 
PMCID: PMC3819961  PMID: 24228044
17.  Pharmacist intervention for glycaemic control in the community (the RxING study) 
BMJ Open  2013;3(9):e003154.
To determine the effect of a community pharmacist prescribing intervention on glycaemic control in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.
Pragmatic, before–after design.
12 community pharmacies in Alberta, Canada.
Type 2 diabetes receiving oral hypoglycaemic medications and with glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) of 7.5–11%.
Pharmacists systematically identified potential candidates by inviting patients with type 2 diabetes to test their HbA1c using validated point-of-care technology. Pharmacists prescribed 10 units of insulin glargine at bedtime, adjusted by increments of 1 unit daily to achieve a morning fasting glucose of ≤5.5 mmol/L. The patients were followed up at 2, 4, 8, 14, 20 and 26 weeks.
Primary outcome
Change in HbA1c from baseline to week 26.
Secondary outcomes
Proportion of patients achieving target HbA1c, changes in oral hypoglycaemic agents, quality of life and patient satisfaction, persistence on insulin glargine, number of insulin dosage adjustments per patient and number of hypoglycaemic episodes.
We screened 365 patients of whom 111 were eligible. Of those, 100 (90%) were enrolled in the study; all 11 patients who did not consent refused to use insulin. Average age was 64 years (SD 10.4), while average diabetes duration was 10.2 years (SD 7). HbA1c was reduced from 9.1% (SD 1) at baseline to 7.3% (SD 0.9); a change of 1.8% (95% CI 1.4 to 2, p<0.001). Fasting plasma glucose was reduced from 11 (SD 3.3) to 6.9 mmol/L (SD 1.8); a change of 4.1 mmol/L (95% CI of 3.3 to 5, p=0.007). Fifty-one per cent of the patients achieved the target HbA1c of ≤7% at the end of the study.
This is the first completed study of independent prescribing by pharmacists. Our results showed similar improvements in glycaemic control as previous physician-led studies. RxING provides further evidence for the benefit of pharmacist care in diabetes.
Trial registration; Identifier: NCT01335763.
PMCID: PMC3787489  PMID: 24068762
Diabetes; HbA1c; Pharmacist; insulin glargine
18.  On becoming a new pharmacist / Devenir pharmacien 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(5):241-242.
PMCID: PMC3785203  PMID: 24093026
19.  Personality Traits of Hospital Pharmacists: Toward a Better Understanding of Factors Influencing Pharmacy Practice Change 
The profession of pharmacy has adopted a mandate to become more patient-centred; however, significant change in this direction has not been achieved.
To characterize the personality traits of hospital pharmacists in one Canadian province, to provide insights into potential barriers to practice change.
A cross-sectional survey of hospital pharmacists was conducted in Alberta, Canada. An invitation to participate was sent to all 766 hospital pharmacists practising in the province’s 2 health service organizations. The survey was based on the Big Five Inventory, a validated, reliable instrument that uses a 5-point Likert scale to measure the traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness.
Of the 347 pharmacists who completed the survey (45% response rate), the majority (297 [86%]) were staff pharmacists working full time in an urban setting. The average age of respondents was 41 years (standard deviation [SD] 11 years), and the average period in practice was 17 years (SD 11 years). Respondents’ mean scores were 3.2 (SD 0.7) on extraversion, 3.8 (SD 0.4) on agreeableness, 4.0 (SD 0.4) on conscientiousness, 2.5 (SD 0.7) on neuroticism, and 3.5 (SD 0.6) on openness. Total frequency counts revealed that respondents tended toward stronger expression of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness and low levels of neuroticism (with the latter indicating stability).
The Big Five Inventory represents a novel approach to examining pharmacists’ change-related behaviours. Improving understanding of hospital pharmacists’ personality traits will provide insights for the development of training and support programs tailored specifically to this group.
PMCID: PMC3806417  PMID: 24159231
pharmacy practice change; personality traits; Big Five Inventory; hospital pharmacy practice; changement de la pratique de la pharmacie; traits de personnalité; Inventaire des cinq grands facteurs de personnalité; pratique de la pharmacie hospitalière
21.  What is patient-centred care? / Que sont les soins axés sur le patient? 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(4):177-180.
PMCID: PMC3734919  PMID: 23940463
23.  Pharmacists’ duty of care / Obligation de diligence du pharmacien 
Canadian Pharmacists Journal : CPJ  2013;146(3):125-126.
PMCID: PMC3676214  PMID: 23795189

Results 1-25 (75)