Medication-related problems in individuals with spinal cord injury in a primary care-based clinic
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of medical problems, reason for referral/primary complaint, products used, medication-related problems, and polypharmacy in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) seen at an interprofessional primary care mobility clinic. DESIGN: Retrospective review of medical records of patients with SCI for patient visits between August 2012 and March 2013. METHODS: Data were abstracted from medical records of patients with SCI. RESULTS: Of 74 patients who presented to the clinic, 19 had an SCI. Mean age was 46.7 years and 74% were male. Most frequent medical problems were depression/anxiety (37%), osteoporosis/osteopenia (26%), hypertension (21%), dyslipidemia (21%), and osteoarthritis (21%). Most common presenting complaints were pain (23%) and bowel/bladder issues (13%). Most common medication-related problems were untreated conditions (41%), ineffective medications (21%), adverse drug reactions (18%), and under- and over-dosage (each 9%). Patients with SCI most frequently used products to treat pain (68%), constipation (42%), muscle spasm (42%), hypertension (42%), and depression (37%). When including natural health products, vitamins and minerals, polypharmacy was seen in 74% of patients with SCI (63% when limited to prescription and over-the-counter medications). For patients with SCI in whose care a pharmacist collaborated, a mean of 3.2 medication-related problems per patient were identified compared with 1 per patient when the pharmacist was not involved. CONCLUSION: This study is the first to describe medication use, polypharmacy and medication-related problems in patients with SCI seen at an interprofessional primary care clinic. Use of high-risk medications, polypharmacy, and medication-related problems in patients with SCI suggest the need for collaborative interprofessional care that includes a pharmacist.