A 3-Armed Randomized Controlled Trial of Nurses’ Continuing Education Meetings on Adverse Drug Reactions

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Nurses’ insufficient knowledge of adverse drug reactions is reported as a barrier to spontaneous reporting. Therefore, CE meetings could be utilized to enhance nurses’ competencies.


In a 3-armed randomized controlled trial, 496 nurses, working in a tertiary medical center, were randomly allocated to a didactic lecture, brainstorming workshop, or the control group (delayed education). Similar instructors (2 clinical pharmacists) prepared and delivered the educational content to all 3 groups. Outcomes were declarative/procedural knowledge (primary outcome), participation rate, and satisfaction. Knowledge was evaluated using a validated researcher-made questionnaire in 3 time points: immediately before, immediately after, and 3 months after each session. Participants’ satisfaction was assessed immediately after each meeting via a standard tool. Data were analyzed using appropriate parametric and nonparametric tests.


Rate of participation was 37.7% for the lecture group and 47.5% for the workshop group. The workshop participants were significantly more satisfied in comparison with the lecture group (p < .05). Mean knowledge scores were similar at baseline in the 3 study groups (43–47). Immediately after the meeting, knowledge was significantly higher in the lecture group (79.1 ± 11.9 vs 73.7 ± 11.3; p = .01). At the follow-up, knowledge scores of the lecture and workshop groups were similar, while significantly higher than the control group. However, the reduction of knowledge score was significantly higher in the lecture group (-13.0 ± 15.9% vs -5.7 ± 15.1%, p = .02).


Educational interventions can improve nurses’ knowledge of adverse drug reactions. Short-term learning could be achieved with lecture, but the retention of knowledge will be enhanced by simple interactive techniques.

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