International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 693–698 | Cite as

Attitudes of Portuguese health professionals toward adverse drug reaction reporting

  • Sílvia Isabel dos Santos Pernas
  • Maria Teresa HerdeiroEmail author
  • Elena Lopez-Gonzalez
  • Odete A. B. da Cruz e Silva
  • Adolfo Figueiras
Short Research Report


Background Adverse drug reactions are a major public health problem. Underreporting is an important limitation of all reporting systems, partially due to attitudes of health professionals. Objective This study sought: (1) to evaluate the reproducibility of a questionnaire on attitudes to and knowledge of adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting among physicians, nurses and pharmacists: and (2) to compare the attitudes and knowledge of these three groups of health professionals. Methods This study targeted a sample of physicians (n = 30), nurses (n = 30) and pharmacists (n = 20) in the central region of Portugal. A structured questionnaire was administered to each health professional twice, at an interval of 2–4 weeks. Most attitudes were based on Inman’s ‘seven deadly sins’ and measured using a continuous visual analog scale (VAS), with answers scored from 0 (total disagreement) to 10 (total agreement). Questionnaire reproducibility was determined using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Results The response rate was 100 %. Attitudes that registered the highest ICCs were Complacency (the belief that really serious ADRs are well documented by the time a drug is marketed) (physicians, ICC 0.84; nurses, ICC 0.70; pharmacists, ICC 0.99), and Diffidence (the belief that one would only report an ADR if one were sure that it was related to the use of a particular drug) (physicians, ICC 0.73; nurses, ICC 0.65; pharmacists, ICC 0.98). In most cases, there were no differences among the three groups of professionals in terms of attitudes and knowledge. Conclusions The Horizontal continuous VAS is reliable to detect the knowledge and attitudes about ADRs.


ADR reporting Adverse drug reactions Health professionals Pharmacovigilance Portugal 



The authors wish to express their sincere thanks to all the physicians, pharmacists and nurses who responded to the questionnaire, and specifically to Prof. João Manuel Torrão of Aveiro University and Prof. João Carlos Caldas of the ISCSN-CESPU for their linguistic/interpretative evaluation of the questionnaire. Lastly, thanks must go to Michael Benedict for his help with the English version of the manuscript.


This work was supported by grants from the Science & Technology Institute (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) to MTH (SFRH/BPD/35746/2007), and partly funded by Health Research Fund (Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria- FIS) from the Spanish Ministry of Health to AF (grant 99/1189).

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest which are directly relevant to the content of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sílvia Isabel dos Santos Pernas
    • 1
  • Maria Teresa Herdeiro
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Elena Lopez-Gonzalez
    • 6
  • Odete A. B. da Cruz e Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Adolfo Figueiras
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Center for Cell Biology, Biology DepartmentUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Health Technology Research Center, Centro de Investigação em Tecnologias da Saúde, CITSInstituto Politécnico de Saúde do Norte-Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Politécnico e Universitário: IPSN-CESPUGandraPortugal
  4. 4.Northern Pharmacovigilance Unit, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.Health Technology and Information Systems Research Center, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  6. 6.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaPortugal
  7. 7.Consortium for Biomedical Research in Epidemiology & Public HealthCIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública, CIBERESPBarcelonaSpain

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