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The treatment-related experiences of parents, children and young people with regular prescribed medication

Background: Taking regular medication has been shown to have an impact on the daily lives of patients and their families. Objective: To explore the medication-related experiences of patients and their families when a child or young person is prescribed regular medication. Setting A specialist U.K. paediatric hospital. Method: Semi-structured face-to-face interviews of 24 parents/carers, children or young people, who had been taking two or more medications for 6 weeks or longer. The themes explored included the medication regimen, formulation, supplies, social aspects and adverse effects. The data was analysed using NVIVO version 11. Main outcome measure The experiences of patients, and their parents/carers, when a child/young person takes regular medication. Results: Participants described a range of experiences associated with taking regular medication. Medication-related challenges were experienced around the timing of administration which was managed over 24 h rather than waking hours. Updating medication doses for administration at school was often delayed. Unintended nonadherence was cited as the biggest challenge with a range of strategies employed to manage this. The internet was commonly used as a source of additional information accessed for reassurance and adverse effects but there were varying experiences of using patient forums/help groups. Other challenges included the adequacy of information, travelling with medication, formulation issues, arranging supplies and adverse effects. Conclusion: Patients and parents experience many challenges with children's medication. Individualised treatment options should be considered. Further research is required to determine how these experiences may be managed including the role of paediatric medication review.

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International journal of clinical pharmacy
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