Background Scientific evidence exists on integration of pharmacists within the oncology team and their positive influence on patient care. Investigation into the effect of pharmacist involvement for oncology inpatients at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, Malta, is required to initiate clinical pharmacy services.
Purpose The study aimed to determine the effect of pharmacist involvement in the treatment of oncology inpatients at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, Malta, in terms of clinical significance on patient care.
Materials and methods Study design followed non-randomised purposive sampling including all patients at the two oncology inpatient wards at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, Malta. Data was collected prospectively over a period of nine weeks through drug reviews and drug chart checking, using a modified French Society of Clinical Pharmacy documentation tool. A multidisciplinary panel independently and retrospectively assessed the pharmacist’s interventions in terms of clinical significance on patient care using a 4-point Likert scale. Group differences were analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis test at a 0.05 level of significance. Strengths of relationships were measured using Spearman’s correlation coefficient.
Results For 72 patients reviewed, 80 drug-related problems (DRPs) and pharmacist interventions were documented. In line with published data for oncology settings, the majority of interventions were related to comorbidities and concomitant medications (63.8%). The most common DRPs (adverse drug reactions, untreated indications, subtherapeutic dosage, drug monitoring) and pharmacist interventions (dose adjustment, drug switch, addition of a new drug, drug discontinuation) identified were in agreement with studies for oncology inpatients conducted elsewhere. More than half of the pharmacist’s interventions were rated as having major or moderate clinical significance on patient care (68.8%).
Conclusions Pharmacist involvement for oncology inpatients at Sir Paul Boffa Hospital, Malta, has improved patient care by enhancing patient safety and ensuring treatment optimisation. Thus, high-quality cancer services are provided when pharmacists are involved within a multidisciplinary team.
No conflict of interest.
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