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Medication errors in the Middle East countries: a systematic review of the literature

Alsulami, Zayed; Conroy, Sharon; Choonara, Imti

Medication errors in the Middle East countries: a systematic review of the literature Thumbnail


Zayed Alsulami

Sharon Conroy

Imti Choonara


Background: Medication errors are a significant global concern and can cause serious medical consequences for
patients. Little is known about medication errors in Middle
Eastern countries. The objectives of this systematic review
were to review studies of the incidence and types of medication errors in Middle Eastern countries and to identify the main contributory factors involved.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature related to medication errors in Middle Eastern countries was conducted in October 2011 using the following databases: Embase, Medline, Pubmed, the British Nursing Index and the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature. The search strategy included all ages and languages. Inclusion criteria were that the studies assessed or discussed the incidence of medication errors and contributory factors to medication errors during the medication treatment process in adults or in children.
Results: Forty-five studies from 10 of the 15 Middle Eastern
countries met the inclusion criteria. Nine (20%) studies focused on medication errors in paediatric patients. Twenty-one focused on prescribing errors, 11 measured administration errors, 12 were interventional studies and one assessed transcribing errors. Dispensing and documentation errors were inadequately evaluated. Error rates varied from 7.1% to 90.5% for prescribing and from 9.4% to 80% for administration.
The most common types of prescribing errors reported
were incorrect dose (with an incidence rate from 0.15% to
34.8% of prescriptions), wrong frequency and wrong
strength. Computerised physician rder entry and clinical pharmacist input were the main interventions evaluated. Poor
knowledge of medicines was identified as a contributory
factor for errors by both doctors (prescribers) and nurses
(when administering drugs). Most studies did not assess the
clinical severity of the medication errors.
Conclusion: Studies related to medication errors in the Middle Eastern countries were relatively few in number and of poor quality. Educational programmes on drug therapy for doctors and nurses are urgently needed.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2013
Deposit Date May 8, 2014
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2014
Journal European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Print ISSN 0031-6970
Electronic ISSN 0031-6970
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 4
Public URL
Publisher URL


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