What benefits can be realized when pharmacists partner with employers like UBC to promote workplace wellbeing programs?
The findings of a multi-year research project suggest that when employees receive preventive health services from a pharmacist, they are more knowledgeable about their health, understand their health information, feel more confident and are empowered to make lifestyle changes that will improve their cardiovascular health.
CAMMPUS (Cardiovascular Assessment and Medication Management by Pharmacists at the UBC Site) is a unique collaboration between the UBC Pharmacists Clinic and UBC HR’s Health, Wellbeing & Benefits. The project focused on improving the cardiovascular heart health of UBC Vancouver faculty and staff. It is also the first prospective study of its kind to demonstrate the benefit of pharmacists in a Canadian workplace-based, cardiovascular disease risk reduction program.
In the initial call for voluntary participants, 512 faculty and staff members were offered a confidential, 30-minute cardiovascular risk assessment to establish a baseline. 207 met the eligibility criteria and consented to enrol in the study. 178 participants completed 12 months of standardized service and customized care plans required to reduce heart health risk. Data was collected from September 2015 to October 2017 and analyzed and evaluated during the winter of 2017-2018.
Framington Risk Score (FRS) is a means of predicting cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. A 10-year risk score, as a percentage, can help inform patient decisions when it comes to preventative health. For example:
- If FRS is less than 10%, CVD risk is low
- If FRS is 10% to 19%, CVD risk is moderate/intermediate
- If FRS is 20% or higher, CVD risk is high
In the CAMMPUS study, the primary outcome was an average change in FRS of -1.0 (SD 4.1) (from 11.7 [SD 7.7] to 10.7 [SD 7.3]; p= 0.0017). This represents a 1% absolute reduction and approximately an 8.5% (SD 36.9) relative reduction in the 10-year CVD risk at 12 months vs. their baseline.
The subgroup of participants with the highest baseline risk (FRS > 20) had the highest relative reduction in FRS (18.1%), whereas participants with intermediate baseline risk (FRS = 10.0-19.9) had an average reduction of 4.4%.
The reductions were largely the result of participants making significant lifestyle changes to their diet, exercise, and stress management, in addition to medication management where required.
Secondary outcomes included:
- Change in blood pressure, lipids, and tobacco use
- Change in self-reported quality of life
- Change in self-reported medication adherence rates
CAMMPUS also demonstrated that:
- When participants with a known medical condition gained more knowledge and understanding of their own health, they were better able to make decisions and take actions to improve their health.
“Knowing I would be checking in and getting information on the impacts of the changes encouraged me to stay focused on and committed to the changes.” – Study participant
- In situations where participants did not have a medical condition, they developed both a greater awareness of their health status and a sense of accountability for their own health.
“For me the greatest thing was learning more about heart health and what impacts it. I think that knowledge is key to beginning to make changes.” – Study participant
- For other participants, knowing their personalized health information was an important factor in helping them initiate and sustain new, healthier habits to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
“The program was explained very well. I felt I was still in control of my wellbeing, but being properly guided on choices I have to make.” – Study participant
In the fall of 2019, the 178 participants who participated in the initial study were invited to receive a check-in appointment, and anyone meeting elevated risk criteria were offered an additional 12 months of pharmacist-led service. The objectives of CAMMPUS 2.0 are to see how many participants were able to maintain their new health habits post-study, and learn about the motivation and goal-setting process people use to make health choices that lower their cardiovascular risk.
For more information:
- CAMMPUS Quantitative Research Report, Annals of Pharmacotherapy, April 2019
- Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in the Workplace with CAMMPUS, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, January 2019