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Attitudes to reporting adverse drug reaction in northern Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
2000 (English)In: European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, ISSN 0031-6970, E-ISSN 1432-1041, Vol. 56, no 9-10, 729-732 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVES: This study was designed to investigate attitudes of general practitioners (GPs) and hospital physicians in Sweden towards spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). METHOD: Two areas in the northern region of Sweden were selected for the study. A knowledge and attitude questionnaire followed by a reminder letter 2 weeks later was addressed to all GPs and hospital physicians in the study areas. RESULT: The total response rate from the study areas was 748 of the 1274 questionnaires sent out (58.7%). Of those who responded, 236 were GPs, 433 were hospital physicians and 79 had other positions. Of the responders, 252 stated that they had never reported any ADR and 488 that they had reported at least once in their career. Issues that came out as important in the decision to report or not to report were whether the reaction was considered well-known or not, the severity of the reaction, hesitance to report only on suspicion, lack of knowledge of existing rules, giving priority to other matters and lack of time to report ADRs. Only minor differences in these regards were observed between male and female physicians. CONCLUSION: Our investigation shows that the physicians in northern Sweden have a fairly good knowledge about the existing rules for reporting ADRs in Sweden. However, the attitudes leave room for considerable under-reporting due to matters related mainly to the medical impact of the reaction and of reporting it, but also to the scientific "paradox" of reporting only on suspicion and of course due to lack of time in the health care setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 56, no 9-10, 729-732 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-4553DOI: 10.1007/s002280000202PubMedID: 11214784OAI: diva2:143701
Available from: 2005-04-29 Created: 2005-04-29 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions: Possibilities and limitations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spontaneous reporting of adverse drug reactions: Possibilities and limitations
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) constitute a major problem in society and in drug therapy. They are a common cause of short-term hospitalization, prolonged hospitalization and death. Spontaneous reporting of ADRs remains one the most effective methods for detecting new and serious drug reactions. In Sweden physicians are legally required to report fatal and serious ADRs. We know from previous studies that there is a substantial degree of under-reporting of ADRs also in Sweden.

Attitudes towards reporting of ADRs among physicians in the northern region of Sweden were investigated using a questionnaire. The most important factor for not reporting ADRs among physicians and general practioners in our region was that the reaction was considered to be well known. However, their attitudes could also allow for a considerable rate of under-reporting.

The effect on the reporting rate when nurses received instruction and were encouraged to report ADRs was studied. During a 12-month study period, 18 ADR reports with a total number of 22 ADRs were sent in by the nurses participating in the study to test nurses as reporters of ADRs.

Using the Swedish ADR database, we calculated the risk of agranulocytosis associated with the use of metamizole by using consumption data from the case records of scrutinized patients’ and stored prescriptions. Over the period from 1996 to 1999, ten cases of agranulocytosis during treatment with metamizole were reported to SADRAC. Metamizole was prescribed to 666 (19%) inpatients during the 3-month study period and 112 prescriptions were identified at the participating pharmacies. Thirty-eight percent of them indicated treatment for more than 15 days. Making certain assumptions, the calculated risk of agranulocytosis was one out of every 31 000 inpatients and one out of every 1400 outpatients. The degree of under-reporting of serious ADRs was studied in five hospitals. More than 1300 case records were scrutinized and among these we found 107 cases that according to current rules for ADR reporting, should have been reported. Only fifteen of these were found in the SADRAC database, indicating a under-reporting rate of 86%.The effect on the reporting rate of ADRs was studied in an intervention study in which a small economical inducement was given to those who reported ADRs.

The effect of a small economical stimulation to increase the reporting rate was studied. From the intervention area we received 62 suspected ADRs compared with 50 from the control area. The increase in the number of reports was 59% compared with an unchanged reporting rate from the control area.

The physicians in northern Sweden have a relatively good knowledge of the existing rules for ADR reporting. Nurses could play an important role in detecting and reporting suspected ADRs.

The risk of developing an metamizole induced agranulocytosis is considerably increased if metamizole is given to patients for a longer time than recommended. The rate of reported ADRs is very low, also for serious and fatal reactions. An increase in the reporting rate of suspected ADRs was observed during study period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Farmakologi och klinisk neurovetenskap, 2005. 74 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 961
Pharmacology, adverse drug reactions, spontaneous reporting, metamizole, general practitioners, hospital physicians, under-reporting, economical inducement, nurses., Farmakologi
National Category
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Research subject
Clinical Pharmacology
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-525 (URN)91-7305-868-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-06-03, Föreläsningssal E04, 6A, Norrlands Universitetssjukhus, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2005-04-29 Created: 2005-04-29 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved

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Bäckström, MartinDahlqvist, Rune
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