Drug-related problems in diabetes and transplant patients: an observational study with home visits

  • Patrick M. Eichenberger
  • Manuel Haschke
  • Markus L. Lampert
  • Kurt E. HersbergerEmail author
Research Article


Objectives To get insight into the medication management of diabetes type 2 (DM) as well as solid organ transplant (Tx) patients and to analyse drug-related problems (DRPs) in order to explore opportunities for the provision of pharmaceutical care. Setting Seventy-nine Swiss community pharmacies offering internships for pharmacy students. Methods Diabetes and transplant patients were recruited in community pharmacies and were interviewed at home by fifth-year pharmacy students who were supervised by a trained investigator, using a specific interview guide developed for this study. Main outcome measure Pattern and frequency of DRPs and pattern of medication management. Results In total, 22 (Tx patients) and 54 (DM patients) home visits were carried out. Mean age of visited patients was 71.4 ± 8.1 years (DM) and 52.6 ± 13.8 years (Tx). Overall, 37.0% (DM) and 50.0% (Tx) of participants were female. We identified 7.4 ± 2.4 (mean ± SD) DRPs per visited patient, with considerable differences between Tx and DM patients (6.3 ± 1.7 vs. 7.8 ± 2.5). The most frequent DRPs were risk for non-adherence (DM: 61.1%; Tx: 77.3%), confusion of generic and trade names (DM: 74.1%; Tx: 27.3%), hoarding of over-the-counter medicines (DM: 48.1%; Tx: 4.5%) and prescription-only medicines (DM: 37.0%; Tx: 36.4%), gaps in knowledge about potential interactions (DM: 61.1%; Tx: 18.2%) and purpose of drugs (DM: 48.1%; Tx: 36.4%). Mean (SD) duration of the visits was 51.7 ± 21.4 min. Conclusion Visiting Tx and DM patients in their homes allowed the identification of a wide range of opportunities for pharmaceutical care as well as specific DRPs which most probably would have escaped a medication review in the pharmacy.


Community pharmacy Diabetes type 2 Home visits Pharmaceutical care Solid organ transplantation 



We thank Flavia Gregorini, Barbara Slejska, and Romina Caluori for data collection as well as the owners of the 79 participating pharmacies and the patients who made this study possible.


No grants from any funding body were received to conduct this study.

Conflicts of interest

No conflict of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick M. Eichenberger
    • 1
  • Manuel Haschke
    • 2
  • Markus L. Lampert
    • 3
  • Kurt E. Hersberger
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Pharmaceutical Care Research GroupUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  2. 2.Clinical Pharmacology and ToxicologyUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland
  3. 3.Clinical and Hospital PharmacyCantonal Hospital BruderholzBruderholzSwitzerland

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