University of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Evaluation of home-based follow-up of high-risk elderly patients discharged from hospital

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 14:43 authored by Naunton, M, Gregory PetersonGregory Peterson

Objective: To evaluate pharmacist-conducted follow-up at home of high-risk elderly patients discharged from hospital.

Method: A randomised controlled study, in which medical patients admitted to hospital and fulfilling high-risk criteria (including age 60 years or older and prescribed four or more regular medications) were randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Patients in the intervention group were visited at home by a pharmacist five days after discharge. The pharmacist educated patients on their medications, encouraged compliance, assessed for drug-related problems, intervened when appropriate and communicated all relevant findings to community health professionals. The intervention group patients were revisited at home 90 days after discharge to evaluate the outcomes of interventions made on day 5. Patients in the control group were visited at home by a pharmacist 90 days after discharge and provided with an identical comprehensive medication review.

Results: One hundred and twenty-one patients completed the study. There were no significant differences between the two groups in key clinical and demographic parameters at baseline. A median of three drug-related problems were identified in each intervention group patient at the five day home visit. Ninety days after discharge this had declined to one, compared to two for the control group patients (p < 0.0001). In the intervention group, compliance had improved and was significantly higher than for the control group after 90 days (p < 0.0001). There was a significant decline in the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs by the intervention group patients. Forty-five per cent of the control group patients had unplanned readmissions to hospital during the 90 days following discharge compared to 28% of the intervention group patients (p = 0.05). The intervention program was well-received by patients and their general practitioners. Recommendations from the pharmacist were implemented by general practitioners in 79% of cases.

Conclusion: A pharmacist-conducted follow-up at home of high-risk elderly patients discharged from hospital is valuable in identifying and addressing drug-related problems and reducing the risk of readmission to hospital.


Publication title

Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research








School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology


Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright © 2006 The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health related to ageing

Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania


    Ref. manager