Patient Quality of Life

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Pharmacists are accepting responsibility for medication therapy-related patient outcomes. Many outcomes measured during care and in studies of pharmacists’ (and other health care professionals’) interventions are processes of care or perhaps certain clinical endpoints, such as A1C for diabetic patients or pain-free days for those on analgesic/anti-inflammatory drugs. Perhaps the ultimate outcome is quality of life. After all, the patient is taking the medication so that they can resume their normal social role functioning and feel good doing it. There are various measures of health-related quality of life, including one specific for measuring the quality of life gained from medication therapy, specifically, the Patient Reported Outcomes Measure of Pharmaceutical Therapy for Quality of Life (PROMPT-QoL).

Sakthong and Sangthonganotai undertook an evaluation of the impact of pharmaceutical care on patients’ responses to the PROMPT-QoL.1 They conducted a randomized control trial, which is a strong and relatively rarely used design in evaluating clinical services. The researchers randomized a group of 514 hospital patients into either the usual care or the pharmacist-led patient-centered pharmaceutical care group, with a follow-up after 3 months. The analysis showed that the pharmaceutical care group significantly improved on four domain scores (components of quality of life measured by the PROMPT-QoL) and the total score versus the usual care group. The domains were ‘medicine and disease information’, ‘satisfaction of medication effectiveness’, ‘psychological impacts of medication use’ and ‘overall quality of life’. For improved patients in the pharmaceutical care group, the responsiveness of these four domains and the total score was moderate-to-high with relatively large effect sizes. The pharmaceutical care group also significantly yielded fewer patients with drug-related problems. The study concluded that pharmacist care was associated with this important humanistic outcome.

While not examined specifically in this study, past evidence suggests that patients might be more adherent, have greater self-efficacy, beliefs about medications, and wherewithal to manage their disease upon consultation with the pharmacist. All of these factors figure into the patient being better managed and thus experiencing improved quality of life. Pharmacy managers should consider such gains in quality of life to be a primary goal of providing patient care. This is not only ethical and altruistic, but can better position the pharmacy to be a “player” in the health care delivery arena and allow them to market their business to patients on the basis of quality of life, as opposed merely to convenience, price, and even professionalism, and patient satisfaction.

Additional information about Value-Added Services as a Component of Enhancing Pharmacists’ Roles in Public Health and Marketing Applications in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.

1Sakthong P, Sangthonganotai T. A randomized control trial of the impact of pharmacist-led patient-centered pharmaceutical care on patients’ medicine-therapy related quality of life. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2018;14:332-339.

Shane Desselle

Professor of Social and Behavioral Pharmacy, Touro University California


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3 months ago

Would you consider QOL the “ultimate” patient outcome?