Expectations for Feedback in Adverse Drug Reporting by Healthcare Professionals in the Netherlands

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In 2010, the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb received more than 4000 reports from healthcare professionals (HCPs). All HCPs received individual personal feedback containing information about the reported drug-adverse drug reaction (ADR) association. It is unclear what type of information HCPs expect in this feedback letter.


The aim of the study was to examine the expectations of the personal feedback of HCPs who reported an ADR to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb.


A questionnaire survey was conducted among a random sample of 1200 pharmacists, general practitioners (GPs) and medical specialists who reported an ADR to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb between 1 January 2009 and 27 January 2010. Responders and non-responders were compared on the basis of profession, number of reports submitted to the pharmacovigilance since 2007 and their last report being serious or not. Questions were asked about the importance of personal feedback and the type of information reporters would like to see in their personal feedback. Both linear and logistic regression analysis were performed, with correction for possible confounding factors.


The response rate to the questionnaire was 34.6% (n = 399). The type of information the respondents generally would like to see in their personal feedback is information about the time course of the ADR and information about the pharmacological mechanism. However, GPs were, in general, less interested in receiving feedback than pharmacists and medical specialists.


Most of the respondents were (very) unsatisfied if they received only a confirmation letter instead of personal feedback. Personalized feedback was considered to be (very) important for reporting an ADR in the future. Most of the respondents (80.3%) stated that the personal feedback increased their knowledge. Only 0.6% of respondents had not read the personalized feedback. No differences were found between responders and non-responders, with the exception that responders had reported statistically more often to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb in the past 3 years.


Most of the respondents would like personal feedback instead of a standard confirmation letter. In general, pharmacists and medical specialists would like more information than GPs. The information in this study is useful in generating more customized personal feedback in the future, and could be useful for other pharmacovigilance centres that are interested in writing personalized feedback to make available to reporters.

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