International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 705–708 | Cite as

The challenges of outcome research

  • Lene Juel KjeldsenEmail author
  • Trine Rune Høgh Nielsen
  • Charlotte Olesen


Cognitive pharmacy trials seek to identify interventions that benefit patients. The potential benefits of an intervention are primarily evaluated by outcome measures. The question then is: What is the optimal outcome measure? Unfortunately, the question remains unsolved. Several factors must be taken into consideration when conducting outcome research—particularly within cognitive pharmacy trials. The interventions are often complex and non-specific, and seek to improve symptom control, optimise the use of medications and reduce medication-related risks. “Hard” endpoints, such as mortality and hospital admissions, may not be the optimal outcome measures, since cognitive pharmacy interventions are unlikely to result in changes in these measures. Instead, adverse drug events or “soft” endpoints, such as quality of life, drug-related problems and patient satisfaction may be appropriate choices of outcome measures. Finally, it is not only outcome measures that may pose a challenge when conducting outcome research; other essential components include study design, type of intervention, the patient population, etc.


Cognitive pharmacy intervention Outcome Patient satisfaction Quality of life 




Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lene Juel Kjeldsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Trine Rune Høgh Nielsen
    • 2
  • Charlotte Olesen
    • 3
  1. 1.The Danish Research Unit for Hospital Pharmacy, Amgros I/SCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.The Hospital PharmacyNæstvedDenmark
  3. 3.The Hospital PharmacyAarhusDenmark

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