Incidence of medication administration errors in Ethiopia: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies

Document Type: Meta-Analysis


University of Gondar College of Medicine and Health Science, School of Nursing, Gondar.


Introduction: In Ethiopia, the overall incidence of medication administration errors (MAEs) has been variously estimated within the range of 16% to 99%; a wide range and difficult to conclude. Thus, this study aimed to assess the pooled incidence of MAEs in Ethiopia.
Materials and methods: A systematic literature search in the databases of Pub-Med, Cochrane, and Google Scholar were performed. The quality of study was assessed using criteria adopted from similar studies. Heterogeneity test and evidence of publication bias were assessed. Sensitivity test and trim and fill analysis was also performed. Pooled incidence of MAE was calculated using random effects model.
Results: A total of nine studies, including a total of 46,426 medication administrations interventions, were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis. The frequently reported MAEs were wrong dose, wrong time, and wrong route. The reported error was ranged from 0.1% for wrong medication to 95.8% for omitted drug error. Overall the pooled incidence of MAE was found to be 37.9% (95% CI, 34%-41.9%). It has no evidence of significant heterogeneity (I2 = 0%, p <0.820) and publication bias from the visual inspection of funnel plot and Egger’s test (P =0.481).
Conclusion: The incidence of MAE was high. Wrong dose, wrong time, and wrong route were the frequently reported errors. Omission error was the most incident errors. Authors suggested to give more attentions to the rights of medication administration guide, particularly to prevent omission error.