Jackson Health System Investigators Find Pharmacist Participation with HIV Patients with Mental Health Issues Achieves Greater Outcomes

Contagion Live’s Alexandra Ward reports that investigators from Miami Florida’s Jackson Health System conducted a study exploring the role of pharmacist intervention in a psychiatric HIV patient population. Apparently, HIV mental illness patients are more than four times more likely to have HIV, and management can represent real challenges and complicated by other dynamics such as substance abuse, drug interactions and non-adherence.

The Miami team sought to study the impact of pharmacist involvement in HIV management of patients with mental illness, and whether this could increase the appropriateness of antiretroviral therapy (ART), laboratory testing and opportunistic infection (OI) prophylaxis.

Jackson Health System investigators conducted an institutional review board-approved, single-center, retrospective study looking at 3 arms of 37 patients each admitted to a psychiatric hospital with an order for one or more antiretroviral medications. Ms. Ward reported “The primary outcome was difference in appropriateness of ART prior to and during pharmacist involvement, according to US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, while secondary outcomes included appropriateness of OI prophylaxis and laboratory testing.”

The researchers found that more appropriate antiretroviral regimens were initiated with some pharmacist involvement (62% vs. 32%, p=0.0096) and even more with consistent pharmacist participation compared with partial (84% vs. 62%, p= 0.0327).

The study results show greater HIV viral load draws with partial as opposed to no pharmacist involvement, and even more with consistent versus partial involvement.

Lead Research/Investigator

Alice Margulis, PharmD, PGY-2 Pharmacy Resident, Jackson Memorial