Perceptions of Doctors to Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting in a Teaching Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria

Kazeem A Oshikoya; Jacob O Awobusuyi


BMC Clin Pharmacol. 2009;9:15 

In This Article



The study was conducted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Nigeria. This is one of the two teaching hospitals in Lagos that provide both medical and dental care in the entire specialty to over 15 million populations in Lagos State. Altogether, over a hundred doctors; consisting of interns, medical officers, residents and consultants work in the hospital. Medical and dental care services at the LASUTH are free of charge and this enables the hospital to enjoy a very high patronage. LASUTH has an ADR Monitoring Committee that is charged with the responsibility of reviewing all suspected cases of ADRs and forwarding the list of confirmed cases to the National Pharmacovigilance Centre (NPC).

Design and Study Population

This is a cross-sectional study involving 120 doctors who were surveyed with a questionnaire (Additional file 1). The questionnaire was adapted from the previous studies that assessed attitudes of medical practitioners and pharmacists to ADR reporting in the United Kingdom[18–21] with a little modifications to suit the Nigerian environment. The questionnaire was structured to obtain the demographics of the doctors, information about their knowledge of ADR reporting, attitudes to reporting, factors that they perceived may influence reporting, and their levels of education and training on ADR reporting. Provision was also made for suggestions on possible ways to improve ADR reporting. A list of hypothetical cases of suspected ADRs with the culprit drugs (palpitation to artemether/lumefantrine (coartem®), jaundice to frusemide, hiccups to enalapril, fixed drug eruption to co-trimoxazole or sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine, gastrointestinal bleeding to diclofenac and thrombocytopenia to heparin) was provided in the questionnaire to assess the practical and in-depth knowledge of ADR reporting by the doctors.

Data Collection

The questionnaire was validated through a pilot study of 20 randomly selected doctors (both medical and dental) from another teaching hospital, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idiaraba.

The questionnaire was distributed through the various Heads of Department and was allowed to stay with the doctors for 4 weeks so as to allow them enough time to attend to the questions. While retrieving the questionnaire the same copy was re-administered to those who could not produce the previous copy given to them. This is to encourage non-respondents to participate in the study. The re-administered questionnaire was filled in and returned the same day unless the doctor was no longer interested in the study.

The Ethics committee of LASUTH approved the study.

Statistical Analysis

Data were analysed using SPSS version 13. Results are presented as mean ± standard deviation for quantitative variables, median with inter-quartile range (IQR) for time related variables and numbers with percentages or graphic presentations for categorical variables. The relationship between the position of the respondents and their general knowledge of ADRs or their in depth knowledge of the illustrated hypothetical cases was determined by using a chi-square at P < 0.05 significant level.