A Role for Primary Care Pharmacists in the Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Lessons from Chronic Disease: A Systematic Review

Pharmacy (Basel). 2020 Nov 2;8(4):E204. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy8040204.

Sharmila S Prasad 1 2, Kerith Duncanson 2 3, Simon Keely 1 2, Nicholas J Talley 2 4, Therése Kairuz 1, Gerald J Holtmann 5, Ayesha Shah 5, Marjorie M Walker 2 4


Author information

  • 1Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia.
  • 2Priority Research Centre, Digestive Health and Neurogastroenterology, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia.
  • 3Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Health Science, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia.
  • 4Faculty of Health and Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, New Lambton Heights, NSW 2305, Australia.
  • 5Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia.


Background and aims: Chronic disease, particularly inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), requires a multifaceted approach to managing patients, but it is apparent that primary care pharmacists are being underutilized. To demonstrate the benefits of pharmacist interventions in primary care, a systematic review was conducted of interventions in asthma and type 2 diabetes where pharmacists have a defined role in chronic disease management. We also explored potential opportunities for primary care pharmacists to deliver tailored care to patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Methods: The search strategy retrieved original research articles from seven databases; eligible articles were assessed for inclusion. Quality appraisal was performed independently by two reviewers. Results: Thirty-seven included studies were grouped into four categories of interventions: education/counseling (43%), medication management (34%), monitoring/follow-up (17%), and screening/risk prevention (6%). Education plus counseling was reported as the main intervention delivered by pharmacists. Three measurable outcomes were identified: clinical, humanistic (e.g., quality of life), and economic. Clinical outcomes (63%) were reported more commonly than humanistic (26%) and economic (11%) outcomes. Pharmacist interventions led to statistically significant improvements in control of disease, severity, and medication adherence, as well as improvements in overall patient satisfaction, quality of life among patients with asthma and type 2 diabetes. Conclusion: As one of the most accessible sources of primary health care, pharmacists are well-placed to minimize the impact of chronic diseases on patients and communities. Evidence suggests there are opportunities for primary care pharmacists to play a more active role in the management of chronic diseases such as IBD.

© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.