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Physician-Pharmacist Team Improves Hypertension Control

BP control reached 63.9 percent with active collaboration versus 29.9 percent without it

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Family practices in which pharmacists actively collaborated with physicians on blood pressure (BP) control medications achieved better BP control, and adhered to treatment guidelines better, than practices where pharmacists did not play an active role, according to a study in the Nov. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Barry L. Carter, of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues randomized six community-based family medicine residency practices caring for 402 patients with uncontrolled hypertension to either an intervention group, in which pharmacists actively collaborated with physicians on BP medication, or to a control group, in which pharmacists answered physician questions but did not actively collaborate. Research nurses took patient BP readings at baseline, three months and six months, and guideline adherence was calculated as a percentage of required criteria met by each patient.

The researchers found that the practices with active physician-pharmacist collaboration achieved BP control in 63.9 percent of patients and reduced mean BP 20.7/9.7 mm Hg, compared to 29.9 percent BP control and a 6.8/4.5 mm Hg decrease in the control group. The mean guideline adherence scores increased from 40.4 to 62.8 percent after six months in the intervention group, and from 49.4 to 53.4 percent in the control group.

"A physician and pharmacist collaborative intervention achieved significantly better mean BP and overall BP control rates compared with a control group. Additional research should be conducted to evaluate efficient strategies to implement team-based chronic disease management," the authors write.

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