BACKGROUND: Current evidence of the effects of pharmacy services on asthma outcomes are not conclusive, since most pharmacy services comprise a variety of interventions.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of a service containing self-management support delivered by community pharmacists to patients with asthma.
METHODS: A systematic search was performed in the following databases from inception to January 2017: PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library's Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) Plus, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, and PsycInfo. Original studies were selected if they met the following criteria: (a) provided by community pharmacists; (b) the intervention service included the essential components of asthma self-management; (c) included a usual care group; and (d) measured control/severity of asthma symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQOL), or medication adherence.
RESULTS: Of the 639 articles screened, 12 studies involving 2,121 asthma patients were included. Six studies were randomized trials, and the other 6 were nonrandomized trials. Patients with asthma who received a self-management support service by community pharmacists had better symptom control/lower severity compared with those receiving usual care (standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.09-0.82) with high heterogeneity (I2=82.6%; P = 0.000). The overall improvement in HRQOL and medication adherence among patients in the asthma self-management support group was greater than for those in the usual care group with SMD of 0.23 (95% CI = 0.12-0.34) and 0.44 (95% CI = 0.27-0.61), respectively. Evidence of heterogeneity was not observed in these 2 outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Self-management support service provided by community pharmacists can help improve symptom control, quality of life, and medication adherence in patients with asthma.
DISCLOSURES: This study received financial support from Naresuan University's Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Fund. Two authors, Saini and Krass, have studies that were included in this review. However, they were not involved in the processes that could bias outcomes of the present study, that is, quality assessment and meta-analysis. The remaining authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.