Background The increasing complexity in paediatric patient care emphasises patient safety as a topic of high priority. Parents/caregivers’ lack of knowledge on how to administer extemporaneous formulations to paediatric patients can be a potential source of medication errors.
Purpose To assess parents/caregivers’ knowledge of medicines administration in paediatric patients
Materials and Methods A 2-month cross-sectional study was conducted with a convenient sample of paediatric outpatients’ parents/caregivers from four hospitals in Lisbon. A questionnaire was developed to assess knowledge on how to administer the medicine (liquid or powder), how to measure the dose to be administered, the administration schedule, the storage conditions, the validity period of the extemporaneous formulation, and appropriate behaviour in case of missing a dose or vomiting immediately after taking the medicine. A univariate analysis was performed using SPSS v.19.
Results Eighty-four individuals participated in the study. The mean (SD) age was 34 (18.6) years, 26.0% were non-Caucasian, 75.3% were married, 46.8% had an average of nine years of education and 50.6% were professionally active. The mean level of knowledge as assessed by the questionnaire was 53.7%. The lowest levels of knowledge were found for appropriate behaviour in case of missing a dose or vomiting after taking the medicine, for which only 10.7% and 20.2% parents/caregivers, respectively, gave the correct answer. Non-Caucasian parents/caregivers and lower education level were significantly associated with a deficit of knowledge (p < 0.05).
Conclusions Low levels of knowledge were found among parents/caregivers of paediatric patients. Strategies to increase knowledge, such as promoting short educational programmes at the hospital, should be considered to improve patient safety.
No conflict of interest.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.