Improving the quality of adverse drug reaction reporting by 4th-year medical students

Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2003 Mar;12(2):97-101. doi: 10.1002/pds.797.


Purpose: Evaluate whether a 15-minute lecture intervention will improve adverse drug reaction reporting quality on standard MedWatch forms.

Methods: Seventy-eight 4th-year medical students were randomized to intervention 'Group-A' or non-intervention 'Group-B' on the first day of a required five-day clinical pharmacology rotation. Group-A participants attended a 15-minute lecture on completing a MedWatch form with quality information considered by the Food and Drug Administration as critical to adequate adverse drug reaction reporting. Group-B participants did not attend this lecture. Both groups then watched a standardized patient interview of a recognizable adverse drug reaction and completed MedWatch forms. Four Safety Evaluators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rated student responses in a blinded fashion for the primary efficacy variable of Overall Impression and six informational domins using a standardized data quality analysis form that was developed within the Office of Postmarketing Drug Risk Assessment of the FDA.

Results: Seventy-eight MedWatch forms were evaluated (Group-A = 40, Group B = 38). Overall MedWatch information quality scores for the intervention group were significantly higher than the non-intervention group (p < 0.004).

Conclusions: As little as a 15-minute intervention can significantly improve the quality of adverse drug reaction reporting by 4th-year medical students. Academic medical centers should consider incorporating adverse drug reaction reporting curriculum into the clinical training of medical students.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration