Recent Grad Wins National CAPSI Literacy Challenge

Get to know Lauren Adam and her paper on the potential benefits of pharmacist intervention in the detection and therapy of atrial fibrillation

Kalyna Hennig - 21 July 2021

While completing a clinical rotation, recent graduate, Lauren Adam (PharmD 2021), participated in the data collection of an ongoing trial at her rotation site. The Improving Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation Through Pharmacist Prescribing (PIAAF-Rx) trial is a multi-site study which is comparing the outcomes of pharmacist intervention in the prescribing of oral anticoagulation therapy compared to enhanced usual care, in patients with unrecognized or known atrial fibrillation, who were not taking blood thinners. 

After her experience in the trial, she submitted her paper on the potential benefits of pharmacist intervention in the detection and therapy of atrial fibrillation as part of the CAPSI Literacy Challenge, which is a competition in which students write about a topic of current interest in pharmacy, and won.

Tell us a little bit about your research.

While I was only able to assist with data collection briefly before my placement finished, I was so inspired by this trial. I think they have really identified a key gap in care that pharmacists could help bridge. There have also been publications investigating the potential benefits of using mobile devices to detect atrial fibrillation, which is an interesting technology I haven't seen commonly used in community pharmacy practice yet. I hope, as more research is published that proves the benefits of pharmacist involvement in the care of patients with atrial fibrillation, that we will see a change in practice.

Why is this research area important to you?

Another reason I think this trial really stayed with me was because of my own personal connection with atrial fibrillation. My dad was first diagnosed when he was in his 40s. After almost 15 years of trying to manage his symptoms with medications, he required a catheter ablation. After witnessing my dad's experience with atrial fibrillation and the way it has impacted his life throughout the years, I have been particularly interested in this disease state and its management. Through my clinical rotations, I have also noticed a large number of patients I've seen are affected by this condition. I am not surprised it is the most common arrhythmia! The care of these patients can be complicated, and I think it's increasingly important that we do all we can to better identify and treat this patient population.

What does it mean to you to receive this award and publication?

After submitting my article to the local University of Alberta CAPSI Literacy Challenge, I was both shocked and thrilled when I heard I was chosen to represent the university in the national competition. I honestly couldn't believe it when I won. I am so honoured to be the recipient of this award and publication. I hope this paper has helped highlight the tremendous impact atrial fibrillation has on our patients and the healthcare system as a whole. I am excited to read about the findings of the PIAAF-Rx trial when it is published!

What are your goals for the future?

This year, I am completing a pharmacy residency at the Saint John Regional Hospital, in my home province of New Brunswick. I am not completely sure what clinical area I'd like to pursue yet, though cardiology has been of interest to me lately. At the moment, my goal is to learn as much as I can from the fantastic preceptors at my site and use that knowledge to better serve the patients in my care.