Implementation strategies to improve statin utilization in individuals with hypercholesterolemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Laney K. Jones, Stephanie Tilberry, Christina Gregor, Lauren H. Yaeger, Yirui Hu, Amy C. Sturm, Terry L. Seaton, Thomas J. Waltz, Alanna K. Rahm, Anne Goldberg, Ross C. Brownson, Samuel S. Gidding, Marc S. Williams, Michael R. Gionfriddo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Numerous implementation strategies to improve utilization of statins in patients with hypercholesterolemia have been utilized, with varying degrees of success. The aim of this systematic review is to determine the state of evidence of implementation strategies on the uptake of statins. Methods and results: This systematic review identified and categorized implementation strategies, according to the Expert Recommendations for Implementing Change (ERIC) compilation, used in studies to improve statin use. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and from inception to October 2018. All included studies were reported in English and had at least one strategy to promote statin uptake that could be categorized using the ERIC compilation. Data extraction was completed independently, in duplicate, and disagreements were resolved by consensus. We extracted LDL-C (concentration and target achievement), statin prescribing, and statin adherence (percentage and target achievement). A total of 258 strategies were used across 86 trials. The median number of strategies used was 3 (SD 2.2, range 1–13). Implementation strategy descriptions often did not include key defining characteristics: temporality was reported in 59%, dose in 52%, affected outcome in 9%, and justification in 6%. Thirty-one trials reported at least 1 of the 3 outcomes of interest: significantly reduced LDL-C (standardized mean difference [SMD] − 0.17, 95% CI − 0.27 to − 0.07, p = 0.0006; odds ratio [OR] 1.33, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.58, p = 0.0008), increased rates of statin prescribing (OR 2.21, 95% CI 1.60 to 3.06, p < 0.0001), and improved statin adherence (SMD 0.13, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.19; p = 0.0002; OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.63, p = 0.023). The number of implementation strategies used per study positively influenced the efficacy outcomes. Conclusion: Although studies demonstrated improved statin prescribing, statin adherence, and reduced LDL-C, no single strategy or group of strategies consistently improved outcomes. Trial registration: PROSPERO CRD42018114952.

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalImplementation Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Implementation strategies
  • Meta-analysis
  • Statin
  • Uptake


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