Context: The issue of drug interactions is a global concern. Studies reported a high prevalence of drug interactions worldwide. The drug-drug interaction (DDIs) and drug-food interactions (DFIs) are often predictable and preventable. Nurses play essential roles in inpatient drug safety.
Aim: This study aimed to assess nurses' awareness and perception of drug-drug and drug-food interactions.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used to achieve the aim of this study on a convenient sample of 150 nurses working at emergency departments(medical, surgical), cardiac care unit, renal department, general surgery department, and the chest and heart surgical department at the Main University Hospital of Alexandria, Egypt. Four study tools used. They were a structured interview questionnaire designed to assess the nurses’ sociodemographic characteristic, nurses’ working experiences to drug-drug and drug-food interactions, and nurses’ history in encountering drug-drug and drug-food interactions; nurses’ awareness of drug/drug interaction assessment questionnaire, nurses’ awareness of drug/food interaction assessment questionnaire, and drug safety nurses’ perception assessment questionnaire.
Results: The findings of the current study reveal that 64% of the studied nurses did not receive training on DDIs or DFIs other than that in their basic education. 56% of the nurses came across patients who experienced either DDIs or DFIs. Regarding awareness, around half of them did not make aware of the drug-drug interactions of the studied drug pairs that are frequently used in the clinical practice. Concerning DFIs, 74% of the studied nurses had a low level of total awareness. Regarding nurses’ perception to drug safety, 49.3% of the studied nurses agreed that the risk of drug-drug interaction is high, 55.3% agreed with the importance for prescribers to learn about DDIs and DFIs, and 53.3% of them agreed with the information regarding the DDIs and DFIs useful to the nurse in plan management. The current study revealed a statistically significant association between training received and nurses’ awareness regarding DDIs and DFIs.
Conclusion: The study concluded a low level of awareness among the studied nurses regarding DDIs and DFIs with an average perception of the risk of DDIs/DFIs, and the importance of related information in plan management. The study recommended different strategies to be applied to assist prescribers and nurses in identifying potential DDIs, providing educational interventions, facilitating access to DDI information sources, applying computerized alerting systems, and delivering performance feedback among the most commonly recommended strategies.
Open access articles are distributed under the terms of Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited.