Attitudes and opinion about adverse drug events of women living in a city of south Italy

Pharmacology. 2013;91(3-4):173-7. doi: 10.1159/000346737. Epub 2013 Feb 15.


Background/aim: Perception of risk of adverse drug events (ADEs) is different between health and nonhealth professionals, but these differences have not been investigated sufficiently in the general population. Women are more affected by ADEs. With the aim to investigate ADE risk perception in a sample of nonhealth professional women of South Italy, we carried out a phone survey.

Methods: Phone survey based on a structured questionnaire on educational level, type of work, lifestyle, comorbidity, and medication used of 1,050 inhabitants of the city of Messina (Italy).

Results: 744 responders, divided into an ADE group (n = 162) and a non-ADE group, were analyzed. Most used drugs were nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (37.0%) and antibiotics (29.6%). Reported disorders related to drug intake were general malaise (25.9%), gastrointestinal complaints (24.1%), and skin reactions (20.4%). Younger age and higher educational level, along with allergic diseases and food intolerances were more frequently reported in the ADE group. Women from the ADE group were better informed about drug risks (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Higher risk perception for ADEs in women is associated with higher educational level, food intolerance/allergic diseases, and choice of alternative or complementary medicines. Difference in perception of risk exists within the female population, which can cause overreporting or underreporting of ADEs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Cities
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult