The effect of a transitional pharmaceutical care program on the occurrence of ADEs after discharge from hospital in patients with polypharmacy

Elien B Uitvlugt, Selma En-Nasery-de Heer, Bart J F van den Bemt, Pierre M Bet, Ferdi Sombogaard, Jacqueline G Hugtenburg, Patricia M L A van den Bemt, Fatma Karapinar-Çarkit

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INTRODUCTION: Transitional care programs (i.e. interventions delivered both in hospital and in primary care), could increase continuity and consequently quality of care. However, limited studies on the effect of these programs on Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) post-discharge are available. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a transitional pharmaceutical care program on the occurrence of ADEs 4 weeks post-discharge.

METHODS: A multicentre prospective before-after study was performed in a general teaching hospital, a university hospital and 49 community pharmacies. The transitional pharmaceutical care program consisted of: teach-back to the patient at discharge, a pharmaceutical discharge letter, a home visit by a community pharmacist and a clinical medication review by both the community and the clinical pharmacist, on top of usual care. Usual care consisted of medication reconciliation at admission and discharge by pharmacy teams. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who reported at least 1 ADE 4 weeks post-discharge. Multivariable logistic regression was used to adjust for potential confounders.

RESULTS: In total, 369 patients were included (control: n = 195, intervention: n = 174). The proportion of patients with at least 1 ADE did not statistically significant differ between the intervention and control group (general teaching hospital: 59% vs. 67%, ORadj 0.70 [95% CI 0.38-1.31], university hospital: 63% vs 50%, OR adj 1.76 [95% CI 0.75-4.13]).

CONCLUSION: The transitional pharmaceutical care program did not decrease the proportion of patients with ADEs after discharge. ADEs after discharge were common and more than 50% of patients reported at least 1 ADE. A process evaluation is needed to gain insight into how a transitional pharmaceutical care program could diminish those ADEs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2021


  • Adverse drug events
  • Hospital discharge
  • Medication reconciliation

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