Impact of pharmacy care upon adherence to cardiovascular medicines: a feasibility pilot controlled trial

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To investigate the feasibility and potential impact of a pharmacy care intervention, involving motivational interviews among patients with acute coronary syndrome, on adherence to medication and on health outcomes.


This article reports a prospective, interventional, controlled feasibility/pilot study. Seventy one patients discharged from a London Heart Attack Centre following acute treatment for a coronary event were enrolled and followed up for 6 months. Thirty two pharmacies from six London boroughs were allocated into intervention or control sites. The intervention was delivered by community pharmacists face-to-face in the pharmacy, or by telephone. Consultations were delivered as part of the New Medicine Service or a Medication Usage Review. They involved a 15–20 min motivational interview aimed at improving protective cardiovascular medicine taking.


At 3 months, there was a statistically significant difference in adherence between the intervention group (M=7.7, SD=0.56) and the control group (M=7.0, SD=1.85), p=0.026. At 6 months, the equivalent figures were for the intervention group M=7.5, SD=1.47 and for the controls M=6.1, SD=2.09 (p=0.004). In addition, there was a statistically significant relationship between the level of adherence at 3 months and beliefs regarding medicines (p=0.028). Patients who reported better adherence expressed positive beliefs regarding the necessity of taking their medicines. However, given the small sample size, no statistically significant outcome difference in terms of recorded blood pressure and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol was observed over the 6 months of the study.


The feasibility, acceptability and potentially positive clinical outcome of the intervention were demonstrated, long with a high level of patient acceptability. It had a significant impact on cardiovascular medicine taking adherence. But these findings must be interpreted with caution. The intervention should be tested in a larger trial to ascertain its full clinical utility.

Trial registration number identifier: NCT01920009.

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