Assessment of knowledge, practices, and barriers to pharmacovigilance among nurses at a teaching hospital, Ghana: a cross‑sectional study

Paa Kofi Tawiah Adu-Gyamfi* (Corresponding Author), Kwesi Boadu Mensah, Joseph Ocansey, Aliu Moomin, Bright Owusu Danso, Frank Agyapong, Reginald Arthur-Mensah Jnr

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: Pharmacovigilance may be defined as the continuous monitoring of the reaction between a drug agent or combination of drugs a patient took and steps taken to prevent any associated risk. Clinical trials conducted before drug approval cannot uncover every aspect of the health hazards of approved drugs. People with carefully selected characteristics are monitored for the safety and efficacy of the drug; hence, common adverse drug reactions (ADRs) following proper use of the medication can be detected. This calls for continuous monitoring of drugs to report any undocumented ADRs during the clinical trial. The study aimed to assess the knowledge, practice, and barriers to pharmacovigilance among nurses at a teaching hospital. Methods: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study, and a stratified sampling technique was used to select 125 nurses within the three units: medical, surgical, and pediatric wards. A structured questionnaire was developed and used for data collection based on the study's objectives and reviewed literature.
Results: The majority (67.2%) of the respondents were females, and 32.8% were males. Most (71.2%) of the nurses had low knowledge of ADR reporting procedures. Also, 84.8% of the nurses knew the purpose of reporting ADRs. The purpose of ADR reporting, as perceived by respondents, was to identify safe drugs (80.8%) and calculate the incidence of ADR (75.2%). Additionally, among the nurses who reported having nursed a patient with ADRs, 52.54% stated they reported the case, while 47.46% did not report it. The most cited reason for not reporting ADRs was that nurses considered the reaction normal and commonly associated with that medicine (35.7%). In comparison, 28.5% of the nurses said they did not know they were supposed to report the adverse drug reaction. There was no statistically significant difference between ranks of nurses, ward, attending in-service training, and pharmacovigilance practice. Conclusion: In conclusion, nurses in this study had inadequate knowledge of pharmacovigilance and its reporting procedure. The study found that most nurses fear that reporting ADRs may be wrong because most of the nurses in the study did not have any form of pharmacovigilance training.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number242
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank all the nurses at the various units who participated in the study.

The authors did not receive any specific funding for the study. The study was funded by the researchers.

Data Availability Statement

The availability of data and materials used in this study cannot be made public due to ethics concerns but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Adverse drug reaction
  • Nurses
  • Adverse drug reaction reporting systems


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