Knowledge, attitudes and practices of nurses and pharmacists towards adverse drug reaction reporting in the Private Sector

Background: Pharmacovigilance is an important tool not only in protecting patients from potentially harmful effects of medicines, but it plays a role in providing good quality of care and monitoring efficacy of drug products within a population. Spontaneous reporting is a system of reporting adverse drug reactions (ADRs) practiced worldwide as part of the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring. Unfortunately, the major drawback of this system is the underreporting of ADRs. Methodology: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was conducted amongst pharmacists and nurses in six private hospitals in Gauteng. A pre-designed and structured multiple choice questionnaire containing 20 close-ended questions was used to assess demographics (four questions), knowledge (six questions), attitudes (five questions) and practices (five questions) of participants. E-mail and manual questionnaires were provided to target as many nurses and pharmacists as possible. Electronic responses were captured as they were submitted, while manual responses were collected by the principle investigator from a contact person identified within each hospital. The data obtained was analysed using appropriate statistical analysis through Microsoft Excel 2010 and Google Forms software. Results: A total of 233 healthcare professionals participated in the study. Although three quarters of participants believed ADR reporting to be important, most had received no previous pharmacovigilance training and did not know how to report an ADR. 87.1% of participants believed that all ADRs should be reported, with 75.5% of participants believing they would report all ADRs they encountered in the future provided they had sufficient training and knowledge. The major factors discouraging participants from reporting was a lack of awareness with respect to the process of reporting as well as a lack of access to the ADR reporting form. Conclusion: This study indicates that the majority of participants require further training regarding ADR reporting. Although the knowledge of most participants was acceptable, the transition into practice needs to be improved.
A dissertation submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Pharmacy (MPharm) in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of the Witwatersrand. 05 February 2018.