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Most Common Pharmacist Recommendations for Veterans With Dementia at Home

January 03, 2020

The most common recommendations made during medication reviews by geriatric clinical pharmacists for a group of veterans living at home with dementia were to discontinue a drug, decrease a dose, and switch to a potentially safer alternative. Researchers reported their findings in the journal The Senior Care Pharmacist. 

“These data may provide information to other clinical pharmacists implementing consult services in similar settings,” researchers wrote.

The information stems from a retrospective chart review of patients in the Veterans Affairs’ Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) program. Participants had dementia and, for study inclusion, had to have received at least one medication-related recommendation from a geriatric clinical pharmacist during a review.

Among 104 patients included in the analysis, the average age was 81 and the average number of medications per person was 12, researchers reported. Some 59% of patients were receiving one or more potentially inappropriate medications. 

Geriatric clinical pharmacists made a total 248 medication-related recommendations, according to the study. The average number of recommendations issued per patient was 2.4. 

Within 6 months, providers accepted 44% of the recommendations, researchers found. The average number of potentially inappropriate medications per patient at baseline was one. Six months later, however, that average remained unchanged.

Jolynn Tumolo


Melville BL, Bailey J, Moss J, et al. Description of pharmacist recommendations in the Caring for Older Adults and Caregivers at Home (COACH) program [published online January 1, 2020]. Sr Care Pharm. 2020;35(1):38-46.

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