Knowledge, attitudes and practices of health care professionals towards adverse drug reaction reporting in public sector primary health care facilities in a South African district

H. M. Haines, J. C. Meyer, R. S. Summers, B. B. Godman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) have an appreciable impact on patients’ health. Little is known however about ADR reporting in ambulatory care environments especially in low- and middle-income countries. Consequently, our aim was to determine knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) among health care professionals (HCPs) towards ADR reporting in primary health care (PHC) facilities in South Africa. The findings will be used to direct future activities. Methods: Descriptive, cross-sectional design using quantitative methodology among 8 public sector community health care centres and 40 PHC clinics in the Tshwane Health District, Gauteng Province. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 218 HCPs, including all key groups. Results: A total of 200 responses were received (91.7%). Although an appropriate attitude towards ADR reporting existed, the actual frequency of ADR reporting was low (16.0%). Of the respondents, 60.5% did not know how to report, where to report or when to report an ADR and 51.5% said the level of their clinical knowledge made it difficult to decide whether or not an ADR had occurred. Over 97.5% stated they should be reporting ADRs with 89% feeling that ADR reporting is a professional obligation and over 70% that ADR reporting should be compulsory. When results were combined, the overall mean score in terms of positive or preferred practices for ADR reporting was 24.6% with pharmacists having the highest scores. Conclusion: Under-reporting of ADRs with gaps in KAP was evident. There is a serious and urgent need for education and training of HCPs on ADR reporting in South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1001
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number7
Early online date15 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020


  • adverse drug reactions
  • healthcare professionals
  • pharmacovigilance
  • ambulatory care
  • South Africa

Cite this