Objectives: This study aimed to explore the perspectives of children and parents regarding: 1) pediatric patients' knowledge and medication use experiences for chronic conditions; 2) how they want to learn about medicines; and 3) perceptions of community pharmacist-provided counseling.
Design: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews and thematic analyses.
Setting: Three community pharmacies in 2 eastern states: one in rural western North Carolina, and 2 in an urban region of western Pennsylvania.
Participants: A total of 39 study participants: 20 children using medications for chronic conditions and 19 parents interviewed July-December 2015.
Main outcome measures: Child and parent perspectives regarding pediatric medication use, knowledge, experiences, and pharmacist-provided patient counseling.
Results: Children and parents had similar perspectives on pediatric medication use and pharmacist counseling experiences. Six themes emerged: 1) child's knowledge, self-management, and medication use experiences; 2) essential medication information and sources; 3) child's frequent absence from the pharmacy; 4) patient counseling needs and recommendations; 5) use of interactive technologies to facilitate learning about medicines; and 6) perceptions of pharmacists. Participants reported that children were independently managing their medications, although they had minimal knowledge about medicines. Children and parents stated that the child's absence during medication pick-up at pharmacies was a barrier to receiving counseling by pharmacists. Children were comfortable and receptive to pharmacists educating them about their medicines, particularly how medications affect the human body, how they were manufactured, and research studies on their medications. Parents and children recommended the use of interactive and educational technologies for pediatric counseling.
Conclusion: Children are frequently not present at pharmacies during prescription pick-up; however, children and parents are comfortable with and receptive to pediatric medication counseling by pharmacists. Interactive and educational technologies need to be developed and used by pharmacists to facilitate counseling and educate children about the effective and safe use of medicines.
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