Awareness among nurses about reporting of adverse drug reactions in Sweden
Elisabet Ekman,1–3 Göran Petersson,2 Sven Tågerud,3 Martin Bäckström4
1Regional Pharmacovigilance Unit, R & D Centre Skåne, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, 2eHealth Institute, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, 3School of Natural Sciences, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, 4Regional Pharmacovigilance Unit, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden
Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate awareness among nurses regarding their new role as reporters of adverse drug reactions in Sweden and factors that may influence reporting by nurses.
Methods: In 2007, all nurses were included in the adverse drug reaction reporting scheme in Sweden. A questionnaire was sent to 753 randomly selected nurses in September 2010.
Results: Of the 453 (60%) responding nurses, 265 (58%) were aware that nurses were included in the reporting of adverse drug reactions. Sixty-one nurses (14%) stated that they had reported an adverse drug reaction. Fifteen percent (n = 70) of the respondents had received training about reporting of adverse drug reactions. Almost one third of these (n = 21, 30%) had reported an adverse drug reaction on at least one occasion. Among nurses without training, a smaller proportion (n = 40, 11%, P < 0.05) had reported an adverse drug reaction on at least one occasion. The two factors considered most important by nurses for reporting were the severity of the adverse drug reaction and if the reaction was to a newly approved drug. A majority of the nurses (n = 397, 88%) were interested in a training course in pharmacology as part of their ongoing professional development. One third (32%) of all nurses stated that one reason for not reporting a suspected adverse drug reaction was that the physician responsible did not regard the reaction necessary to report.
Conclusion: We found that more than half of the study population of nurses in Sweden were aware of their new role as reporters of adverse drug reactions, but few of the responding nurses had reported an adverse drug reaction. Given that training seems to be associated with high reporting frequency, we suggest more training in pharmacovigilance for nurses.
Keywords: adverse drug reporting systems, nurses, knowledge
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