Adverse drug reaction reporting by doctors in a developing country: A case study from Ghana

  • GT Sabblah
  • P Akweongo
  • D Darko
  • ANO Dodoo
  • AM Sulley
Keywords: Spontaneous reporting, adverse drug reaction, underreporting, doctors, Ghana


Background: Spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting is the most widely used and cost effective method of monitoring the safety of drugs. This method is heavily afflicted by underreporting by healthcare professionals. The study aims at assessing adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting rate by doctors, knowledge of the reporting system and attitudes to SADR in the Greater Accra region.
Methods: This was a cross sectional survey of 259 doctors randomly  selected from 23 hospitals classified as government 199 (76.8%), quasi-governmental 43(16.6%) and private 17 (6.6%) hospitals in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. Data collection was by self-administered  questionnaire from May 5, 2012- July 6, 2012. Descriptive statistics was used to describe the background characteristics of the doctors and the outcome measures like training and reasons for ADR reporting were summarized as frequencies and percentages.
Results: One-third (27.4%) of doctors surveyed had received previous training on drug safety monitoring and ADR reporting; training and  knowledge of the reporting system was found to improve reporting. More
than half 154 (59.5%) of the doctors had seen a patient with suspected ADR in the past one year although only 31 (20%) had reported it by completing the SADR reporting form. Doctors working in government hospitals were about 5 times more likely to report than those in private hospitals [OR=4.94, 95%CI (1.55-15.69)].
Conclusion: Training and knowledge of the ADR reporting system were found to be associated with the likelihood of reporting an ADR. Most of the doctors had not previously received training on ADR reporting.

Keywords: Spontaneous reporting, adverse drug reaction, underreporting, doctors, Ghana


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0016-9560