Aim Medicines for Children (MFC) is a collaboration between RCPCH, NPPG and Wellchild, a parent charity. It provides web-based, reliable information for parents about medications they give their children. There are leaflets on around 300 medicines. Currently the leaflets are primarily targeted at adults, (with 11–12 reading age), but due to the possible differing needs of adolescents, MFC are considering developing separate leaflets for adolescents. The aim was to explore the contrasting understanding and opinions of adolescents and adults on these leaflets thus informing Medicines for Children about the need for a separate leaflet. We used the Midazolam leaflet as an example to test this on.
Methods It was performed face to face using laptop Google form surveys in the paediatric outpatient department. Participants (parents, and adolescents aged 12–18) read the Midazolam leaflet and answered these 10 questions: Where do you go for information on medicines (for you or your children)? Have you heard of ‘Medicines for Children’? How old are you/your children? Was the leaflet written in a way you could understand? Do you like the layout of this leaflet? At what time should someone call an ambulance if you/your child is having a seizure? Where should the Midazolam be given? What may be a common side effect of Midazolam that was mentioned in the leaflet? Is there any more information you would have liked from the leaflet? Do you think there should be a separate leaflet for adolescents? (Only asked to adolescents)
Results Overall 214 surveys were collected; 177 adults and 37 adolescents. Only 11 adults and 0 adolescents had heard of ‘Medicines for Children’ before. The majority of adults visit their GP or the NHS choices website (53 counts for both), and adolescents ask friends and family (22) for medication information. Overall participants were happy with the leaflet, with 71.2% of adults and 54% of adolescents wanting no changes. Most adolescents (75.7%) said no to separate leaflets, and were happy reading adult leaflets. A Chi-squared analysis was applied to the recall questions to determine if the correct responses between the two groups were significant for: Ambulance call time: 55.1% adults answered correctly vs 51.4% adolescents (p=0.7016). Where to give the Midazolam: 92.1% adults answered correctly vs 91.9% adolescents (p=0.8797). Common side effects: 69.9% adults answered correctly vs 75.7% adolescents (p=0.8797). These P values show there was no significant difference between adults and adolescents in the information ascertained by the reader.
Conclusion The awareness of MFC was low with many other sources being used for information. Recall of information was good in both groups, showing it’s efficacy (perhaps due to the leaflet’s 11/12 reading age). Most users, whether adult or adolescent, were content with the leaflet. Adolescents do not want their own leaflets. Medicines for Children’s resources would be better spent further promoting public awareness of their existing leaflets rather than developing new teenage adolescent ones.
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