A survey of attitudes, practices, and knowledge regarding drug-drug interactions among medical residents in Iran

Ehsan Nabovati, Hasan Vakili-Arki, Zhila Taherzadeh, Mohammad Reza Saberi, Ameen Abu-Hanna, Saeid Eslami
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 2017, 39 (3): 560-568
Background When prescribing medications, physicians should recognize clinically relevant potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs). To improve medication safety, it is important to understand prescribers' knowledge and opinions pertaining to DDIs. Objective To determine the current DDI information sources used by medical residents, their knowledge of DDIs, their opinions about performance feedback on co-prescription of interacting drugs. Setting Academic hospitals of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences (MUMS) in Iran. Methods A questionnaire containing questions regarding demographic and practice characteristics, DDI information sources, ability to recognize DDIs, and opinions about performance feedback was distributed to medical residents of 22 specialties in eight academic hospitals in Iran. We analyzed their perception pertaining to DDIs, their performance on classifying drug pairs, and we used a linear regression model to assess the association of potential determinants on their DDI knowledge. Main Outcome Measure prescribers' knowledge and opinions pertaining to DDIs. Results The overall response rate and completion rate for 315 distributed questionnaires were 90% (n = 295) and 86% (n = 281), respectively. Among DDI information sources, books, software on mobile phone or tablet, and Internet were the most commonly-used references. Residents could correctly classify only 41% (5.7/14) of the drug pairs. The regression model showed no significant association between residents' characteristics and their DDI knowledge. An overwhelming majority of the respondents (n = 268, 95.4%) wished to receive performance feedback on co-prescription of interacting drugs in their prescriptions. They mostly selected information technology-based tools (i.e. short text message and email) as their preferred method of receiving feedback. Conclusion Our findings indicate that prescribers may have poor ability to prevent clinically relevant potential DDI occurrence, and they perceive the need for performance feedback. These findings underline the importance of well-designed computerized alerting systems and delivering performance feedback to improve patient safety.

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