Indicators for assessing quality of drug use: A systematic literature review

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Abstract

Objective:

We searched and described existing drug-related indicators, and provided helps for using indicators for quality assessment of drug use and developing new indicators.

Methods:

We searched 8 databases and 41 official WebPages of national pharmaceutical administration department or academic organizations to obtain literature on drug-related indicators. Researchers extracted data including basic information (countries, issue time et al.), target population, categories, and various characters of indicators. We finally conducted a descriptive analysis to summarize these indicators.

Results:

A total of 3598 literatures were retrieved, 39 of which were finally included. a) A total of 876 indicators were identified. Of which, 9.5% were structure indicator, 83.6% were process indicator and 6.9% were outcome indicator. b) Evaluation dimensions of indicators could be summarized as prescribing quality, patients' experience, pharmacy administration, drug-therapy process and cost. c) In included indicator sets, 9 were developed for specific drug, 7 were for specific disease and 6 were for specific population. d) Instructions of indicator sets were identified. 7 terms of instructions were included such as rationale, prerequisite and definition of indicators.

Conclusions:

Most study suggest that prescribing quality is an essential dimension and process indicator was greatly considered in drug use evaluation. Drug-related indicators for general adults were relatively well-developed. There was an urgent need for investigation of drug use indicators for children and pregnant women.

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