Parent-clinician communication about children's drug reactions needs improvement

October 10, 2012

Many parents are dissatisfied with communication regarding adverse drug reactions experienced by their child, and the implications of such reactions for the child's future use of medicines, according to a new study published Oct. 10 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Bridget Young from the University of Liverpool, UK and colleagues.

The researchers interviewed parents of 44 children who had a suspected adverse drug reaction for their study. They found that the majority of parents in their study were dissatisfied with the clarity and timing of communications from doctors and nurses, and were unsure whether a child's reaction to a drug affected future use of the medicine.

Parents whose children had cancer were the exception to this, as most of them expressed confidence in the way their clinicians explained the risks associated with medicines and managed side effects that developed during their child's treatment. In addition, the researchers observed that parents linked symptoms to medicines using reasoning similar to that used by clinicians to evaluate the side effects of medicines.

According to the authors, there are currently few guidelines to help clinicians communicate with families about side effects of drugs prescribed to children, which is likely to create confusion for parents of who suffer .

The authors suggest that this similar reasoning used by clinicians and parents to link children's side effects to drugs could be used as a starting point to improve communication between clinicians and parents about children's' medications. Bridget Young said "Some parents are very distressed by the way clinicians deal with suspected side effects to common medicines and we are now working with to work out the best way to improve things".

Explore further: Most parents who get tested for breast cancer genes share results with their children

More information: Arnott J, Hesselgreaves H, Nunn AJ, Peak M, Pirmohamed M, et al. (2012) Enhancing Communication about Paediatric Medicines: Lessons from a Qualitative Study of Parents' Experiences of Their Child's Suspected Adverse Drug Reaction. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046022

Related Stories

Most parents who get tested for breast cancer genes share results with their children

January 9, 2012
A new study has found that when parents get tested for breast cancer genes, many of them share their results with their children, even with those who are very young. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal ...

Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them

April 16, 2012
Unintentional poisonings from medicines cause more emergency room visits for young children each year than do car accidents.

Recommended for you

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

September 20, 2017
First, the good news. Washington State University researchers have found that a rat exposed to a popular herbicide while in the womb developed no diseases and showed no apparent health effects aside from lower weight.

One e-cigarette with nicotine leads to adrenaline changes in nonsmokers' hearts

September 20, 2017
A new UCLA study found that healthy nonsmokers experienced increased adrenaline levels in their heart after one electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) with nicotine but there were no increased adrenaline levels when the study ...

India has avoided 1 million child deaths since 2005, new study concludes

September 19, 2017
India has avoided about 1 million deaths of children under age five since 2005, driven by significant reductions in mortality from pneumonia, diarrhea, tetanus and measles, according to new research published today.

Gulf spill oil dispersants associated with health symptoms in cleanup workers

September 19, 2017
Workers who were likely exposed to dispersants while cleaning up the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill experienced a range of health symptoms including cough and wheeze, and skin and eye irritation, according to scientists ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.