Health outcomes assessment in community pharmacy practices: A feasibility project




To evaluate the feasibility and benefit of capturing outcomes data in community pharmacy settings, and to characterize the health status, resource use, and medication use of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.


Patients (n = 460) with musculoskeletal disorders including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and low back pain from 12 community pharmacy sites responded to disease-specific questions, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) health survey, demographics, and resource use using touch screen computer technology. Patients provided information and met with a community pharmacist for scheduled visits at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Pharmacists, with the aid of the patient-reported information, documented medication use and identified and addressed drug therapy problems of the patients at each visit. Baseline results, based on descriptive statistics are reported.


OA was reported by 71% of the patients, 55% reported low back pain, and 19% reported RA. Despite receiving a variety of analgesic medications, a majority of the patients reported experiencing moderate to severe pain. SF-36 scores of the study population were significantly lower than age-adjusted population norms, with arthritis patients reporting worse physical health than patients with low back pain. Drug therapy problems were identified in 58% of the population, with need for additional drug therapy (31%) and adverse drug reactions (18%) being the most common problems identified.


Results indicate that routine capture of patient-reported health outcomes data is feasible in community pharmacy settings using touch screen technology.