Background Whilst only 20% of content discussed in a consultation is retained, it’s improved by giving additional written information. Patients are able to use written leaflets to consolidate their knowledge away from the stressful environment of a patient-doctor discussion. Such written information may increase treatment compliance and concordance. The ‘Medicines for Children’ website is designed to provide practical and reliable advice for families about giving medicine to their children. It has a variety of leaflets, videos and web-based information on over 200 children’s medications. It’s a partnership between the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group and WellChild; a charity for parents and carers.
Objective To evaluate the ‘Medicines for Children’ website and information sheets, against the NICE quality standard 15; Understanding Treatment Options and NICE Medicines adherence guideline 76; involving patients in decision about prescribed medicines.
Methods A questionnaire was designed against the specific criteria set out in NICE quality standard 15 and clinical guideline 76. Questions focused on the layout, language and content of the leaflet, particularly information regarding the treatment risks and benefits. Data was collected from a convenience sample of parents attending children’s outpatient clinics. Qualitative feedback was also sought.
Parents were asked to read the leaflet on ‘Beclametasone inhaler for asthma prophylaxis’ and answer the questionnaire as though their child were starting on this medication.
Results 106 parents participated. 16 declined.
Parents comments included: ‘clearly laid-out with simple sub-headings’, ‘written in a way that everyone can understand’. They suggested future developments should include: ‘pictures for adults with lower literacy levels’ and ‘having the leaflets in both English and Welsh.’
Conclusion Medicines for Children information leaflets fulfil NICE standards and provide high quality information about children’s medications which is highly valued by families.
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