Relationship Between the Likelihood of Reporting Adverse Events Among Nursing Officers and Their Perceptions on Identified Barriers and Enablers for Reporting

  • K. B. Samarakoon Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • S. Sridharan Ministry of Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine, Sri Lanka
Keywords: Adverse event reporting, Patient safety, Nursing Officers, perception, Teaching Hospital, Kandy.


In order to improve patient safety in hospital setups, learning from previous errors is important. Therefore the institute should have adequate data on adverse events which have occurred in their settings. The way of gathering those data is Adverse Event Reporting. The objective of this study was to measure the relationship between the likelihood of reporting adverse events by Nursing Officers in Medical, Surgical, Paediatric, Gynaecology and Obstetrics wards in the Teaching Hospital, Kandy and their perception on selected barriers and enablers, as identified in literature, for adverse event reporting. This was a quantitative study, and the study instrument was a validated self-administered questionnaire with a six point likert scale. Nursing officers working in Medical, Surgical, Paediatric, Gynaecology and Obstetrics wards in the Teaching Hospital, Kandy were the study population. The whole population was taken to this study as it is below the calculated sample size. Correlations between the likelihood of reporting adverse events was measured with the participants’ perceptions on  their training on adverse event reporting, leadership, feedback received for reported adverse events, knowledge on adverse event reporting, presence of culture of blame and the existing process of adverse event reporting. The response rate for the questionnaire was 69% (n=277).There was statistically significant positive moderate correlation between the participants’ likelihood of incident reporting and their perception on the process of reporting an adverse event (r = 0.591). Their perceptions on leadership (r = 0.472), perceived knowledge on incident reporting (r = 0.462), perception on feedback received for reported incidents (r = 0.438), perceived training received for incident reporting (r = 0.378) and the perception of the presence of culture of blame (r = 0.164) showed weak positive correlations with their likelihood of reporting adverse events. Simplification of the process of adverse event reporting can be recommended to improve incident reporting in these selected wards in the Teaching Hospital, Kandy.


Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, “What Is Quality and Why Is It Important?” [Online]. Available:

Carol M Ashton, Deborah J Del Junco, Julianne Souchek, “The Association between the Quality of Inpatient Care and Early Readmission: A Meta-Analysis of the Evidence,” Med. Care, vol. 35, no. 10, pp. 1044–1059, 1997.

E. Martin, “Eliminating Waste in Healthcare Strategies to improve outcomes and reduce costs,” ASQ Healthcare Update, no. July, 2014.

IOM, “Crossing the Quality Chasm,” National Academy of Sciences, no. March, pp. 2–3, 2001.

WHO, “Patient Safety Workshop,” Learning from Error, 2008.

WHO, “The World Alliance for Patient Safety,” in Patient Safety, vol. 28, no. 5, Geneva: orld Health Organization, 2004, pp. 16–22.

Ministry of Health Sri and Lanka, Policy Repository. 2015, p. 142.

Ministry of Health Sri Lanka, Implementation of Adverse Event Reporting & Readmission Forms. 2016.

C. Vincent, Stanhope N, “Reasons for not reporting adverse events: an empirical study,” J. Eval. Clin. Pract., vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 13–21, 1999.

Y. Pfeiffer, T. Manser, and T. Wehner, “Conceptualising barriers to incident reporting : a psychological framework,” Br. Med. J., no. June, 2009.

J. J. Waring, “Beyond blame: Cultural barriers to medical incident reporting,” Soc. Sci. Med., vol. 60, no. 9, pp. 1927–1935, 2005.

K. Martowirono, J. D. Jansma, S. J. Van Luijk, C. Wagner, and A. B. Bijnen, “Possible solutions for barriers in incident reporting by residents,” J. Eval. Clin. Pract., vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 76–81, 2012.

J. G. B. Marilyn J Kingston, Sue M Evans, “Attitudes of doctors and nurses towards incident reporting: a qualitative analysis,” Med. J. Aust., vol. 181, no. 1, pp. 36–39, 2004.

A. Al joharah Al obaikan, Zayed, A. Benayan, H. I. Al, and A. Al, “Incident Reporting and its Impact on Quality of Health Care Services in Riyadh , Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Am. J. Res. Commun., vol. 3, no. 1, 2015.

N. C. Elder, D. Graham, E. Brandt, and J. Hickner, “Barriers and motivators for making error reports from family medicine offices.,” J. Am. Board Fam. Med., vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 115–123, 2007.

J. Hellgren, M. Mattson, and M. Idoeta-, “The role of leadership attitudes for safety awareness , incident reporting and actual events,” 2013.

Crisis Prevention Institute, Critical Incident Reporting. 2000.

S. K. Lwanga, Sample Size Determination in Health Studies. World Health Organization, 1991.

D. M. Evans SM, Berry JG, Smith BJ, Esterman A, Selim P, O’Shaughnessy J, “No Title,” BMJ Qual. Saf. Heal. Care, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 39–43, 2006.