Exploring behavioural determinants relating to health professional reporting of medication errors: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework.
Tonna, Antonella P.
Stewart, Derek C.
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ALQUBAISI, M., TONNA, A., STRATH, A. and STEWART, D. 2016. Exploring behavioural determinants relating to health professional reporting of medication errors: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework. European journal of clinical pharmacology [online], 72(7), pages 887-895. Available from: https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00228-016-2054-9
Purpose: Effective and efficient medication reporting processes are essential in promoting patient safety. Few qualitative studies have explored reporting of medication errors by health professionals and none have made reference to behavioural theories. The objective was to describe and understand the behavioural determinants of health professional reporting of medication errors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Methods: This was a qualitative study comprising face-to-face, semi-structured interviews within three major medical/ surgical hospitals of Abu Dhabi, the UAE. Health professionals were sampled purposively in strata of profession and years of experience. The semi-structured interview schedule focused on behavioural determinants around medication error reporting, facilitators, barriers and experiences. The theoretical domains framework (TDF, a framework of theories of behaviour change) was used as a coding framework. Ethical approval was obtained from a United Kingdom (UK) university and all participating hospital ethics committees. Results: Data saturation was achieved after interviewing ten nurses, ten pharmacists and nine physicians. While it appeared that patient safety and organisational improvement goals and intentions were behavioural determinants which facilitated reporting, there were key determinants which deterred reporting. These included: the beliefs of the consequences of reporting (lack of any feedback following reporting, and impacting professional reputation, relationships and career progression); emotions (fear and worry) and issues related to the environmental context (time taken to report). Conclusion: These key behavioural determinants which negatively impact error reporting can facilitate the development of an intervention, centring on organisational safety and reporting culture, to enhance reporting effectiveness and efficiency.