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Feasibility of developing children’s Pill School within a UK hospital

Abstract

Objective We assessed the feasibility of introducing an intervention (children’s Pill School—PS) within a UK hospital to provide swallowing training for children, identified the proportion of children who can be switched from oral liquid medicines to pills and assessed children/parents’ opinions about the PS training.

Methods 30 inpatient children (aged 3–18 years; taking oral liquid medicines; their liquid medications assessed suitable for switching to pills; can (and their parents) speak/understand English were included. Training sessions were delivered using hard sweets of different sizes.

Results 87% (26) of children successfully learnt how to swallow pills after one training session (mean duration 14.5 min), and 92% (24) were discharged on pills. 75 prescribed oral liquid medications were deemed suitable for switching to pills. Of these, 89% (67) were switched successfully.

Conclusion Children as young as 3 years were successful in swallowing pills after training. Providing children PS training session within hospital is feasible and acceptable to children and their parents.

  • health services research
  • pharmacology
  • therapeutics

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