Taxonomy development for term standardization in activity resulting from medication review processes: a Delphi study

Mohammed S Alharthi, Sion Scott, Carmel Hughes, Christine Bond, Ernieda Hatah, Linda Bryant, Richard Holland, Sam Kosari, Wasim Baqir, Yoon Loke, David Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medication review (MR) is the systematic assessment of a patient’s medications for safety and effectiveness by a healthcare professional. The language used to describe MR activity, such as stopped medicine and increased dose, should be consistent across studies to assist researchers compare how different services operate and identify their mechanism of impact.

To develop an international taxonomy of standardized terms and activity definitions related to medication reviews.

This was a three-stage Delphi-based consensus study with international medication review experts. A systematic review provided MR activity terms for the survey. Experts rated their consensus on each activity term and its definition on a Likert scale and provided written feedback. The consensus was 75% panel agreement. At each stage, consensus elements were retained, and feedback was used to revise definitions.

Seven experts were recruited for the study (response rate 15.2%) from four countries: the United Kingdom (n = 4), New Zealand (n = 1), Australia (n = 1), and Malaysia (n = 1). The following terms achieved consensus: the term Medication as a descriptor for MR terms; discontinue medication, start medication, dose increase, dose decrease, dosage form change, and medication safety and efficacy monitor to describe MR activity; Educate to describe the delivery of healthcare professionals and patients/carers education.

Standardized medication review activity terms and definitions have been selected for universal adoption in all future MR research to facilitate a meaningful comparison of process evaluations within different settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180–185
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmacy


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