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Prescribing in obese children: how good are paediatricians?
  1. Helen Collier1,
  2. Maria Nasim2,
  3. Anjum Gandhi2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Good Hope Hospital, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2Department of Pharmacy, Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Collier, Department of Paediatrics, Good Hope Hospital, Rectory Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B75 7RR, UK; Helen.collier3{at}


Childhood obesity is increasing nationally and worldwide. Using the child's total body weight to calculate drug doses for certain medications could result in incorrect dosing. The aim of this study was to assess whether paediatric doctors have knowledge about prescribing correct doses of medications for obese children by using methods to calculate the ‘ideal body weight’ (IBW). A questionnaire was sent to paediatric doctors asking whether they understand IBW and how to calculate it using the McLaren method. The results suggested that most paediatric doctors did not determine whether a child was obese when calculating drug doses. There was relatively poor understanding about the concept of IBW and only 9% of paediatricians in this study knew how to calculate it. There should be more training and guidance about calculating IBW in obese children to avoid potentially toxic errors.

  • Obesity
  • Pharmacology
  • Paediatric Practice

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  • Twitter Follow Maria Nasim at @Maria89_2

  • Contributors HC was responsible for review of literature, devising the questionnaire, collecting and analysing the data, drafting the article. AG was responsible for conceiving the idea, review of literature, devising the questionnaire, drafting the article. MN was responsible for contributing to development of a practice improvement plan in response to the survey results and undertaking responsibility for this locally.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement We are happy to share all the collected data, which has been summarised in the article.

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