International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 1039–1046 | Cite as

Assessment of drug-related problems in pediatric ward of Zewditu Memorial Referral Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

  • Mequanent Kassa BirarraEmail author
  • Tigist Bacha Heye
  • Workineh Shibeshi
Research Article


Background Although medications play a vital role in the cure, palliation, and inhibition of disease, they also expose patients to drug-related problems (DRPs). DRPs are common in hospitalized patients. Specifically, pediatrics population are easily affected by DRPs, as dynamic and kinetic behaviors of drugs in this population are usually different than  in adults. Objectives To assess the prevalence of DRPs and associated factors in a pediatric setting in Ethiopia. Setting Pediatric ward of Zewditu Memorial Referral Hospital, Addis Abbeba, Ethiopia. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 285 randomly selected patients. Data were obtained through review of physician medication orders and patient files. The prevalence and type of DRPs were studied and documented using the Pharmaceutical Care Network Europe Foundation classification system. The results were summarized using descriptive statistics including frequency, mean, and standard deviation. To identify the independent predicators of DRPs, logistic regression analysis was run and a P value ≤0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Main outcome measure DRPs, types of DRPs, drugs that are frequently involved in DRPs, and factors associated with DRPs. Main outcome measure Number of DRPs. Results Of the 1055 medication orders reviewed, a total of 106 DRPs were identified in 90 patients. This gives an overall rate of drug-related problems of 31.57%. The most frequently identified DRPs were dosing problems, with dose too low being 34.9% and dose too high being 7.5%. This was followed by drug–drug interactions (38.67%) and adverse drug reactions (8.49%). The number of prescribed drugs (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3–4.3, P = 0.007) and total number of disease conditions (AOR 4.8, 95% CI 1.9, 12.1, P = 0.001) were potential risk factors for occurrence of DRPs. Conclusion The present study demonstrated that DRPs were common at the pediatric ward of Zewditu Memorial Referral Hospital and that it needs great attention. The most frequently identified DRPs were dosing problems, followed by drug–drug interactions and adverse drug reaction. Poly-pharmacy and number of disease conditions have been identified as important risk factors for occurrence of DRPs. The investigators recommend establishing a system for reporting DRPs in the pediatric ward of the hospital as it may facilitate appropriate measures for prospective interventions, such as training the healthcare team, as well as detail precautions to be followed by the practitioners. In addition to this, improving communication between the healthcare team members such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other healthcare workers in the hospital is recommended.


Drug-related problems Ethiopia Pediatrics 



We are very much thankful for the participants in this study as well as the University of Gondar for the financial support.



Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mequanent Kassa Birarra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tigist Bacha Heye
    • 2
  • Workineh Shibeshi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health SciencesGondar UniversityGondarEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics & Child health, School of Medicine, College of Health SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, College of Health SciencesAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia

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