Medication Administration Challenges Among Children and Young People Aged 0 to 18 Years Old (A mixed method approach)

  • Dania Talaat Dahmash

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Medication errors frequently occur with paediatric patients who take long term medication at home, where parents/caregivers are responsible for administering the medication. The issues and the extent to which they can affect medication safety and accuracy in the UK have not been formally established. Therefore, this thesis aimed to investigate medication administration problems, issues and challenges occurring at home among children and young people aged 0 to 18 years old, where parents and patients were responsible for administering their medication.

A systematic review of medication administration problems for paediatrics caused by parents/caregivers, including the role of health literacy, found that there is little literature other than that published in the USA that has examined medication administration problems using a validated health literacy tool.

From the survey conducted among paediatric pharmacists regarding this issue, the respondents indicated that the consultation time between the patient and the pharmacist is critical to reducing medication administration problems. Furthermore, a few suggested there is a need for further training and educational material for parents and young people to improve understanding in regards to medication use at home.

Forty-nine parents and young people were interviewed from five sites in England. The participants suggested a few recommendations that could help them administer or take medication safely at home; this includes a visual demonstration of the dose to be administered. Finally, 40 participants were recruited in the observational session, where it was found that dose accuracy for both liquids varied across each dose volumes. And there was a significant association of dose accuracy with measurement tool size, type and dose volume.

This work provides evidence that the parents/carer of children and young people require assistance to ensure safe medication administration at home. Future work is needed to develop a complex intervention to address the issues.
Date of AwardApr 2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorChi Huynh (Supervisor), David Terry (Supervisor) & Daniel Kirby (Supervisor)


  • Medication errors
  • paediatrics
  • young people
  • parents
  • informal caregivers
  • health literacy

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