Patients' understanding of drug allergy and documentation: Is there a link?

Sim, Lily, Barras, Michael and Cottrell, Neil (2005) Patients' understanding of drug allergy and documentation: Is there a link?. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, 35 4: 276-278.

Author Sim, Lily
Barras, Michael
Cottrell, Neil
Title Patients' understanding of drug allergy and documentation: Is there a link?
Formatted title
Patients’ understanding of drug allergy and documentation—Is there a link?
Journal name Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1445-937X
Publication date 2005-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 35
Issue 4
Start page 276
End page 278
Total pages 3
Editor Jo-anne E. Brien
Benafsha Khariwala
Place of publication Prahran, VIC, Australia
Publisher The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia
Language eng
Subject 320500 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
320501 Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy
1115 Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Formatted abstract
Background: Re-exposure to a drug to which one is allergic is a preventable adverse drug event. There is a reliance on the patient to provide accurate information on their allergies for the purpose of complete documentation.

Aim: To investigate the relationship between patients' understanding of their drug allergy and documentation of their allergy status in their hospital records.

Method: A structured interview of inpatients identified whether they had a drug allergy. Patients were then assessed on their ability to distinguish the symptoms of an allergic reaction from those of an adverse effect and stratified into groups based on their level of understanding. Review of drug charts and medical records identified both the presence and quality of documentation.

Results: Of the 250 patients interviewed, 95 (38%) had previously experienced a true allergic reaction to a drug. A good understanding of the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction was demonstrated by 48 (51%). 50 (53%) patients had their allergy documented on their medication chart and 69 (73%) in their medical records. 18 (19%) patients had no documentation of their allergy status. There was a trend that good understanding of allergy may lead to improved completeness of documentation but this did not reach statistical significance.

Conclusion: Patients' understanding of drug allergy improved the quality of documentation. System changes need to ensure proper training of staff to take and record drug allergies.
Keyword Allergic reaction
Drug hypersensitivity
Drug reexposure
Structured interview
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2006 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
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Created: Fri, 21 Dec 2007, 21:46:37 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences