Can Pharmacists Influence the Health-Related Quality of life of Patients with Asthma? : The New Zealand Pharmaceutical Care Experience

Nadir Kheir, Lynne Emmerton, John Shaw


Background: The newly emerging practice of Pharmaceutical Care requires that pharmacists take responsibility for the outcomes of drug therapy. Improvement in Quality of Life (QoL) represents the final outcome of the care process and indicates the success of interventions. Objectives: To assess the impact of a Pharmaceutical Care specialist asthma service provided by community pharmacists to a sample of patients with asthma, the outcome indicators being changes in health status and QoL. Method: Sixty-two adult asthma patients (17 years and older) living in two rural regions of New Zealand, were segregated into two groups for phased introduction to the service. The patients acted as their own controls before they received the pharmacists’ service. They had been diagnosed with asthma at least six months previously, and their asthma was symptomatic and not considered optimally controlled prior to the study. Results: There was significant improvement in asthma-related QoL (as measured by the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire) following introduction of the service, and pharmacists were able to identify, prevent or resolve over 400 drug-related problems. Conclusion: The results suggest that with appropriate training and support, New Zealand pharmacists can help asthma patients achieve greater quality of life. This research has implications for the introduction of Pharmaceutical Care services in other countries and for patients with other conditions who require ongoing management. Key words: Pharmaceutical Care, Quality of Life, asthma, pharmacists,


Pharmaceutical Care, Quality of Life, asthma, pharmacists

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