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Pharmacist role in chronic pain management

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: THAPA, Parbati (Monash University, Malaysia , Malaysia)
  • Co-author(s): Parbati Thapa1, Shaun Wen Huey Lee1, Bhuvan KC1, Juman Abdulelah Dujaili1, Mohamed Izham Mohamed Ibrahim 2, Sudesh Gyawali 3 1School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia, Jalan Lagoon Selatan, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 2 Social and Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy Qatar University, Doha, Qatar 3Department of Pharmacology, Manipal College of Medical Sciences, Pokhara, Nepal
  • Abstract:


    Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists beyond the normal tissue healing time of 3 months or more. Pharmacists have been involved in chronic pain management either individually or in a collaborative team approach.


    This study aims to conduct a systematic review of the pharmacist\’s role in chronic pain management.


    Electronic databases were searched from inception to June 2020 for articles published in English and examining the roles of pharmacists in chronic pain management. The database included were MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Psych INFO, International Pharmaceutical Abstract, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Information was systematically extracted, analyzed, and discussed.


    A total of 517 articles were identified, however, 14 articles that complied with the inclusion criteria were included in the study. Pharmacist mainly contributed to medication review in chronic pain management, however, there was diversity in the provided services as pharmacist assessed for drug allergies, identified drug-related problems, and made a recommendation for medication change in some studies whereas they individualized the drug therapy and devised a pharmaceutical care plan on the other. Likewise, the pharmacist has a role in a multidisciplinary pain management team where they reviewed the medication, conduct opioid stewardship for its judicial use, provided patient education on pain and medication use. The pharmacist-provided intervention reduced the pain intensity score, however, there was a mixed impact on physical functioning, reduction of anxiety and depression, and quality of life of the patient. Health care professionals, as well as patients, were satisfied by the involvement of pharmacists in chronic pain management.


    Pharmacists could contribute substantially to pain management if adequate training, opportunities, and guidance are provided. However, further studies are required to assess the pharmacist’s role and its impact on positive health outcomes.

Last update 4 October 2019

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