Attitudes of Portuguese health professionals toward adverse drug reaction reporting
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Background Adverse drug reactions are a major public health problem. Underreporting is an important limitation of all reporting systems, partially due to attitudes of health professionals. Objective This study sought: (1) to evaluate the reproducibility of a questionnaire on attitudes to and knowledge of adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting among physicians, nurses and pharmacists: and (2) to compare the attitudes and knowledge of these three groups of health professionals. Methods This study targeted a sample of physicians (n = 30), nurses (n = 30) and pharmacists (n = 20) in the central region of Portugal. A structured questionnaire was administered to each health professional twice, at an interval of 2–4 weeks. Most attitudes were based on Inman’s ‘seven deadly sins’ and measured using a continuous visual analog scale (VAS), with answers scored from 0 (total disagreement) to 10 (total agreement). Questionnaire reproducibility was determined using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Results The response rate was 100 %. Attitudes that registered the highest ICCs were Complacency (the belief that really serious ADRs are well documented by the time a drug is marketed) (physicians, ICC 0.84; nurses, ICC 0.70; pharmacists, ICC 0.99), and Diffidence (the belief that one would only report an ADR if one were sure that it was related to the use of a particular drug) (physicians, ICC 0.73; nurses, ICC 0.65; pharmacists, ICC 0.98). In most cases, there were no differences among the three groups of professionals in terms of attitudes and knowledge. Conclusions The Horizontal continuous VAS is reliable to detect the knowledge and attitudes about ADRs.
KeywordsADR reporting Adverse drug reactions Health professionals Pharmacovigilance Portugal
The authors wish to express their sincere thanks to all the physicians, pharmacists and nurses who responded to the questionnaire, and specifically to Prof. João Manuel Torrão of Aveiro University and Prof. João Carlos Caldas of the ISCSN-CESPU for their linguistic/interpretative evaluation of the questionnaire. Lastly, thanks must go to Michael Benedict for his help with the English version of the manuscript.
This work was supported by grants from the Science & Technology Institute (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) to MTH (SFRH/BPD/35746/2007), and partly funded by Health Research Fund (Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria- FIS) from the Spanish Ministry of Health to AF (grant 99/1189).
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest which are directly relevant to the content of this paper.
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