Behavioural changes in medication safety: Consequent to an action research intervention

Fatemeh Bakhshi, Rebecca Mitchell, Alireza Nikbakht Nasrabadi*, Shokoh Varaei, Majid Hajimaghsoudi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To explore the extent to which action research assists developing medication safety behaviours among emergency medicine staff.

Background: Health care staff involved in medication therapy are frequently required to implement progressive changes. To permanently improve medication safety, we must consider staff behaviour. This study utilizes action research to engage health care workers and engender behavioural changes.

Method: Two cycles of action research were implemented. Data were collected through pre‐ and post‐medication safety surveys, unstructured interviews and field notes. Staff in the emergency department worked together to progress the study cycles.

Results: The pre‐evaluation phase revealed deficiencies in staff medication safety behaviour. Subsequent to the implementation of safety initiatives, pre‐ to post‐evaluation comparison indicated significant improvement in medication safety behaviours. In response to qualitative reflection phase data in reflection, ward pharmacists were placed in the emergency department and anew policy on responding to medication error was developed. Analysed field notes revealed improved safe patient care, enhanced pharmaceutical knowledge and changes in the emergency department climate.

Conclusions: Through action research, this study introduced actions to improve medication safety behaviours in the emergency department. Staff involvement led to changed safety behaviours.

Implication for Nursing Management: This study advises nurse managers of the benefit of pharmacist‐led medication therapy, interprofessional medication safety courses and active communication between front‐line staff and managers regarding medication safety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number2
Early online date9 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • action research
  • behaviour
  • emergency department
  • medication error
  • medication safety


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