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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2000 Nov;9(6):457-71. doi: 10.1002/1099-1557(200011)9:6<457::AID-PDS529>3.0.CO;2-R.

Development and evaluation of a standardized questionnaire for identifying adverse events in vaccine clinical trials.

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Merck Research Laboratories, West Point, PA, USA.


In vaccine trials, diary questionnaires or vaccination report cards (VRCs) are used extensively to collect complaints reported by subjects or guardians following vaccination. These have not been evaluated for accuracy or standardized to facilitate tolerability comparisons among vaccines.Objectives -(1) Develop standardized, age-specific VRCs for collecting self-reported adverse events (AEs) in trials; (2) Evaluate whether complaints elicited by nurse examinations or telephone interviews were missed by VRCs.Methods -Vaccine-trial databases, focus groups, experts and experienced nurses were used to develop paediatric and adolescent/adult VRCs. VRCs were evaluated at four sites. The primary outcome was subjects with AEs missed on the VRC and reported in nurse examinations (for injection-site reactions) or telephone interviews (for systemic complaints).Results -Of 855 subjects, 96.5% completed VRCs. For systemic complaints, 1.5% (12/812) reported both no complaint on VRCs and at least one complaint in telephone interviews. For injection-site reactions, 5.1% (53/1030) of injection sites had both no reaction reported on VRCs and had reactions noted by nurse examination. No missed AEs were rated as severe.Conclusion -The data suggest VRCs provide a practical and reasonably complete method of eliciting complaints following vaccination.

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