Drug-related problems identified by pharmacists conducting medication use reviews at a primary health center in Qatar
Background Medication use review (MUR) is increasingly being recognized globally as a routine strategy performed by pharmacists to optimize the therapeutic outcomes of long-term medications. MUR services are not commonly available in hospitals and primary health care (PHC) centers in Qatar and no previous studies have reported the nature and extent of such services where they exist. ObjectiveTo describe the extent and types of drug-related problems (DRPs) generated from MUR interactions conducted at a PHC facility in Qatar and to determine the effect of patient characteristics on the number of DRPs. Method This was a cross-sectional, descriptive and exploratory study. Data were generated and documented prospectively via semi-private interviews conducted by intervention pharmacists (n = 6). DRPs identified were categorized according to the Pharmaceutical Care Network of Europe DRP classification system. Results In 56 medication reviews conducted, a total of 173 DRPs were identified with an average of 3.3 DRPs per patient. The most commonly encountered DRPs were non-adherence (31 %), need for education (23 %), and adverse drug reactions (21 %). Patients receiving six or more medications had significantly higher number of DRPs compared to those receiving three medications (p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, elderly patients tended to have more DRPs compared to younger patients and there was a linear relationship between age and DRPs. Conclusion This study shows that patients receiving polypharmacy and the elderly in Qatar are vulnerable to experiencing DRPs, many of which are potentially preventable through MURs.