European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 613–618 | Cite as

Adverse drug reaction reporting by nurses in Sweden

  • M. BäckströmEmail author
  • Elisabet Ekman
  • T. Mjörndal
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription



To investigate whether nurses could be a useful tool for improving the reporting rate of adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Furthermore, we wanted to study how physicians working at the study departments would respond to nurses as reporters of ADRs and if the reporting from the nurses affected the reporting rate from the physicians.


Three departments of internal medicine and one unit for orthopaedics were selected for the study. Nurses with special drug responsibilities were invited to participate. At the start of the study period, the nurses received an introduction with background, objective, method and other practical issues concerning the study. After this, an education programme about ADR reporting, definitions, and ADR classification according to mechanism and organ system was given. To study their knowledge about and attitude towards ADRs, a questionnaire was handed out to the nurses. A questionnaire was also handed out to all physicians at the participating departments in order to investigate their attitude towards nurses as reporters of ADRs.


Fifty-four nurses participated in the study. During the study period, a total number of 23 reports with 39 ADRs were sent to the regional centres by the nurses. Seventeen (74%) of the reports were assessed as serious. Eight of the 39 ADRs were unlabelled and all reports were considered appropriate. The reporting rate from the physicians during the study period was similar to the previous year, indicating that the nurses contributed with additional reports. At the end of the study, the nurses thought that they had enough knowledge to report ADRs. Sixty-eight percent of the physicians did not object to nurses being included as reporters of suspected ADRs.


Adverse drug reaction reporting by nurses could improve the overall safety of drugs.


Adverse drug reaction Spontaneous reporting Nurses 



This study was supported by the Medical Product Agency, Uppsala, Sweden. A special thanks to all the participating nurses at the Department of Internal Medicine in Norrlands Universitetssjuhus Umeå, Östersunds sjukhus, Blekingesjukhuset in Karlskrona and the orthopaedic ward at Blekingesjukhuset in Karlshamn for their participation in this survey, and their enthusiasm, willingness to contribute and meaningful and interesting discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity Hospital of UmeåUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Regional Pharmacovigilance Unit, Clinical PharmacologyUniversity HospitalLundSweden

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