BACKGROUND: Studies assessing community pharmacist-led interventions conducted in high-income countries indicate that community pharmacists are successful in taking opportunities to support diabetes management. It is not yet clear as to what extent this is also true for low-income and middle-income countries.
OBJECTIVES: To provide an overview of the types of interventions performed by community pharmacists and available evidence about their effects on patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in low-income and middle-income countries.
METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for (non) randomized controlled, before-and-after, and interrupted time series design studies. There was no restriction on publication language. Interventions to be included had to be delivered by community pharmacists in a primary care or community setting. Study quality was assessed using the National Institute of Health tools, with results analyzed qualitatively, and the review itself was conducted in accordance with guidelines for scoping reviews.
RESULTS: Twenty-eight studies were included, representing 4,434 patients (mean age from 47.4 to 59.5 years, 55.4% female) from community pharmacies (16 studies), primary care centers (8 studies) or community setting (4 studies). Four studies were single-component and the remaining represented multi-component interventions. Face-to-face counseling of patients was the most common intervention, often combined with the provision of printed materials, remote consultations, or conducting medication reviews. Generally, studies showed improved outcomes in the intervention group, including clinical, patient-reported and medication safety outcomes. In most studies, at least one domain was judged to be of poor quality, with heterogeneity among studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Community pharmacist-led interventions on type 2 diabetes mellitus patients showed various positive effects but the quality of the evidence was poor. Face-to-face counseling of varying intensity, often combined with other strategies and representing a multi-component intervention, was the most common type. Although these findings support the expansion of the community pharmacist's role in diabetes care in low-income and middle-income countries, better quality studies are needed to evaluate the impact of specific interventions.