Assessing the impact of structured education on the knowledge of hospital pharmacists about adverse drug reactions and reporting methods in Saudi Arabia: an open-label randomised controlled trial

  • Ejaz CheemaEmail author
  • Abdulmohsin Abdulaziz Almualem
  • Abdulmohsen Talal Basudan
  • AbdulAziz Khalid Salamatullah
  • Sohaib Omar Radhwi
  • Ammar Soliman Alsehli
Short Communication



Pharmacists have limited knowledge about adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in Saudi Arabia.


The aim of this study was to assess the impact of educational intervention on the knowledge of hospital pharmacists about ADRs.


This was a 3-month randomized controlled trial conducted in Saudi Arabia between January 2018 and March 2018. Participants in both groups were required to complete an online questionnaire at baseline and at 12-week follow-up. Participants in the intervention group received a structured information sheet about ADRs 2 weeks after the first assessment. The main outcome measure was difference in mean knowledge score about ADRs.

Main outcome measure

Difference in mean knowledge score about ADRs.


A total of 46 participants were included in the study. At the 12-week follow-up, there was a significant improvement in the mean knowledge score (± standard deviation) of intervention participants from 7.67 (± 2.1) at baseline to 11.22 (± 0.4) (95% CI −4.5 to −2.5; p < 0.0001). The mean knowledge score of control participants remained unchanged at 6.71 (± 2.3) during both baseline and follow-up assessments.


ADR-specific education was associated with a significant improvement in the knowledge and understanding of pharmacists about ADRs and their methods of reporting.



We would like to thank all individuals who participated in the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval

The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Umm-al-Qura University (UQU-COP-EA# 143630).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no relevant conflicts of interest


This study did not receive any funding.

Informed consent

Participants were provided written information about the study and its aims. The completion and submission of the anonymised online questionnaire by the participants was taken as their consent to the study.

Supplementary material

40267_2019_621_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)
40267_2019_621_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (270 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 270 kb)


  1. 1.
    Davies EC, Green CF, Taylor S, et al. Adverse drug reactions in hospital inpatients: a prospective analysis of 3695 patient-episodes. PLoS One. 2009;4:e4439.CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Vereen JC, Weiss M. Trends in emergency hospital admissions in England due to adverse drug reactions: 2008–2015. JPHS. 2017;8:5–11.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Aljadhey H, Mahmoud MA, Ahmed Y, et al. Incidence of adverse drug events in public and private hospitals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: the (ADESA) prospective cohort study. BMJ Open. 2016;6:e010831. Scholar
  4. 4.
    MHRA. Adverse Drug Reactions. Accessed 01 October 2018.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hazell L, Shakir SA. Under-reporting of adverse drug reactions: a systematic review. Drug Saf. 2006;29:385–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alshammari TM, Alshakka M, Aljadhey H. Pharmacovigilance system in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Pharm J. 2017;25:299–305. Scholar
  7. 7.
    Al Doughan FF, Alomi YA, Iflaifel MH. Pharmacist’s awareness and knowledge of reporting adverse drug reactions in Saudi Arabia. Int J Pharm Health Sci. 2019;2:60–5.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alharbi F, Bahnassi A, Alonazie W. Attitude, knowledge and experience of hospital pharmacists with pharmacovigilance in a region in Saudi Arabia: a cross-sectional study. Trop J Pharm Res. 2016;15:1773–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cheema E, Haseeb A, Khan TM, et al. Barriers to reporting of adverse drugs reactions: a cross sectional study among community pharmacists in United Kingdom. Pharm Pract. 2017;15:931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Herdeiro MT, Polonia J, Gestal-Otero JJ, et al. Improving the reporting of adverse drug reactions: a cluster-randomized trial among pharmacists in Portugal. Drug Saf. 2008;31:335–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of pharmacyUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.College of pharmacyUmm-al-Qura UniversityMakkahSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations