Impact of pharmacists as immunizers on vaccination rates: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Vaccine
Volume 34, Issue 47, Pages 5697-5818 (11 November 2016)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0264410X/34/47
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Review
Impact of pharmacists as immunizers on vaccination rates: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Review Article
Pages 5708-5723
J.E. Isenor, N.T. Edwards, T.A. Alia, K.L. Slayter, D.M. MacDougall, S.A. McNeil, S.K. Bowles
Abstract
Background
Underutilization of vaccination programs remains a significant public health concern. Pharmacists serve as educators, facilitators, and in some jurisdictions, as administrators of vaccines. Though pharmacists have been involved with immunizations in various ways for many years, there has yet to be a systematic review assessing the impact of pharmacists as immunizers in these three roles.
Objective
To complete a systematic review of the literature on the impact of pharmacists as educators, facilitators, and administrators of vaccines on immunization rates.
Methods
We identified 2825 articles searching the following databases from inception until October 2015: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Libraries, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, Google Scholar. Grey literature was identified through use of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health “Grey Matters” search tool. Content from relevant journals and references of included studies were also searched. Inclusion criteria were clinical or epidemiologic studies in which pharmacists were involved in the immunization process. Studies were excluded if no comparator was reported. Two reviewers independently completed data extraction and bias assessments using standardized forms.
Results
Thirty-six studies were included in the review, 22 assessed the role of pharmacists as educators and/or facilitators and 14 assessed their role as administrators of vaccines. All studies reviewed found an increase in vaccine coverage when pharmacists were involved in the immunization process, regardless of role (educator, facilitator, administrator) or vaccine administered (e.g., influenza, pneumococcal), when compared to vaccine provision by traditional providers without pharmacist involvement. Limitations of the results include the large number of non-randomized trials and the heterogeneity between study designs.
Conclusions
Pharmacist involvement in immunization, whether as educators, facilitators, or administrators of vaccines, resulted in increased uptake of immunizations.
PROSPERO Registration: CRD42013005067.