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Project #125:
What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medication reviews?

  • Type: Service evaluation
  • Topic areas: Other/indirect impacts of COVID on health/healthcare

Medication reviews are an important aspect of primary care to ensure that a patient’s prescribed medications are safe, effective and appropriate. The COVID-19 pandemic has been shown to have caused significant disruption to healthcare services. A reduction in the frequency of medication reviews may increase the risk of harm from medications and/or result in suboptimal management of long term conditions.

There is no single definition of what constitutes a medication review. A medication review can ensure the appropriateness of a prescribed medication or ensure appropriate monitoring has taken place. They may be undertaken to review all of a patient’s current repeat prescriptions or to review medication for a single condition only. For example, the review may ensure that a patient prescribed medicine to lower their blood pressure, has had their blood pressure checked recently.

The purpose of this study is to observe changes in the number of medication reviews conducted in primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study will report the rate of medication reviews overall and then describe variation between key clinical, regional, and demographic subgroups (e.g., Index of Multiple Deprivation, ethnicity, or a record of learning disability). This may help to better understand inequalities in healthcare and highlight potential areas for further research and improvement.

  • Study leads: Chris WoodVicky Speed
  • Organisation: University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine