In a previous study, we observed that a pharmacy-based intervention programme decreased the blood pressure of hypertensive patients. The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of this pharmacy programme on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of individuals treated for hypertension.
In a quasi-experimental cohort pilot study, we recruited 91 participants from nine pharmacies in the Quebec City area. We offered the intervention programme over a 9-month period to participants enrolled at four of the pharmacies. The other participants were not exposed to pharmaceutical services other than those usually given by their pharmacists. We used the SF-36 to evaluate HRQOL. Covariance analysis was used to test for significant differences of HRQOL scores between participants exposed and not exposed to the programme.
When compared with the non-exposed participants, those receiving the intervention and with high income had an improvement in vitality score (P=0.05). On the contrary, low-income exposed participants did not show this benefit and had a decline in mental health score (P=0.01). Improvement in vitality is likely due to increased physical activity and to a reduction in systolic blood pressure in the high-income exposed group. The negative effect of the programme on the mental health of those exposed in the low-income group might be due to the fact that the programme was not effective in reducing blood pressure and may therefore have caused anxiety.
Pharmacists' interventions can have both a positive and negative impact on the HRQOL of individuals, treated with antihypertensive agents, depending on income level.