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Domiciliary visits by pharmacists may help to identify the care needs of isolated housebound patients, recent research reveals.

The study, published in the Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, evaluates the findings of pharmacist-led holistic domiciliary medicine use reviews. The researchers identified predominantly housebound patients ranging from 49 to 98 years of age taking multiple medications. A total of 12 community pharmacists visited and interviewed them.

According to the survey results, nearly 40 per cent of patients had difficulties in taking their medication including lack of dexterity or difficulty in swallowing.

More than 26 per cent of diabetic patients lacked monitoring and 11.3 per cent identified with inadequate social care. More than14 per cent had a risk of falling.

“Continence, dehydration, hygiene and nutrition issues were found, often caused by mobility problems or a lack of suitable toilet facilities. A need for home modifications such as handrails to prevent falls was also identified,” the research report says.

“Domiciliary visits by pharmacists may be able to help identify the diverse care needs of isolated housebound patients helping to integrate their care requirements.”