Study designs of evaluations included in the review
The authors did not specify any inclusion or exclusion criteria for the study design. The studies included in the review were randomised controlled trials (RCTs), before-and-after studies and observational studies. Some of the RCTS randomised by individual and some by pharmacy.
Specific interventions included in the review
The authors did not specify any inclusion or exclusion criteria for the intervention other than 'community pharmacy activity'. The studies included were of community pharmacy-based interventions aimed at smoking cessation and lipid management. In the included studies, the interventions consisted of combinations of education, counselling and advice given to patients, and training of pharmacists. Some of the smoking cessation studies involved nicotine replacement therapy. Some of the participants in the lipid management studies were assessed for cardiovascular risk including cholesterol levels. In addition, the authors also described pharmacy-based studies aimed at identifying people at risk of high blood-pressure or lipid levels through record checking.
Participants included in the review
The authors did not specify any inclusion or exclusion criteria for the participants, although the review appeared to focus on patient rather than pharmacist outcomes. The participants in the smoking cessation studies appeared to be current smokers and those seeking advice on smoking cessation or nicotine replacement therapy. The participants in the lipid management studies appeared to be those at increased risk of CHD, e.g. as identified by their patient medication records.
Outcomes assessed in the review
The authors did not specify any inclusion or exclusion criteria for the outcomes. The outcome measures in the smoking cessation studies included smoking cessation (self-reported or cotinine validated), smoking cessation consultations, and pharmacists' perceptions of their smoking cessation counselling. The outcomes in the lipid management studies included: lipid levels, achievement of target lipid levels, addition or modification of lipid-lowering therapy, CHD or cardiovascular disease risk factor scores, treatment adherence, patient satisfaction, quality of life, physician visits, adverse drug events and pharmacists' knowledge.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Three authors separately examined lists of titles and abstracts from the searches and compared inclusion and exclusion lists. Any differences were resolved through discussion.