Implementation fidelity of a clinical medication review intervention: process evaluation

F. Willeboordse, F. G. Schellevis, M. C. Meulendijk, J. G. Hugtenburg, P. J. M. Elders

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Background Implementation of clinical medication reviews in daily practice is scarcely evaluated. The Opti-Med intervention applied a structured approach with external expert teams (pharmacist and physician) to conduct medication reviews. The intervention was effective with respect to resolving drug related problems, but did not improve quality of life. Objective The objective of this process evaluation was to gain more insight into the implementation fidelity of the intervention. Setting Process evaluation alongside a cluster randomized trial in 22 general practices and 518 patients of 65 years and over. Method A mixed methods design using quantitative and qualitative data and the conceptual framework for implementation fidelity was used. Implementation fidelity is defined as the degree to which the various components of an intervention are delivered as intended. Main outcome measure Implementation fidelity for key components of the Opti-Med intervention. Results Patient selection and preparation of the medication analyses were carried out as planned, although mostly by the Opti-Med researchers instead of practice nurses. Medication analyses by expert teams were performed as planned, as well as patient consultations and patient involvement. 48% of the proposed changes in the medication regime were implemented. Cooperation between expert teams members and the use of an online decision-support medication evaluation facilitated implementation. Barriers for implementation were time constraints in daily practice, software difficulties with patient selection and incompleteness of medical files. The degree of embedding of the intervention was found to influence implementation fidelity. The total time investment for healthcare professionals was 94 min per patient. Conclusion Overall, the implementation fidelity was moderate to high for all key components of the Opti-Med intervention. The absence of its effectiveness with respect to quality of life could not be explained by insufficient implementation fidelity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-565
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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