Author(s): HmeenAnttila K, Juvonen M, Ahonen R, Bush PJ, Airaksinen M
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Abstract The aim of this study was to discover how well children understand medicine related topics and in this way to evaluate their preparedness for two-way communication about these matters. The data were collected by conducting 14 focus group discussions (FGDs) among Finnish schoolchildren aged 7-8, 10-11 and 13-14 years. The main theme during the FGDs was the management of diseases with medicines. Both inductive and deductive analyses were used to analyse the data [Patton M. Qualitative evaluation and research methods. 2nd ed. Newbury Park: Sage Publications; 1990]. Children had superficial knowledge of and a negative attitude towards medicine use. They used medicine related vocabulary uncertainly implying that they do not fully comprehend all the information that they have gained. Children realized that there may be risks when using medicines and this understanding tended to increase by age. The results of this study indicate a need to educate children about medicines. In addition to school-based medicine education, health care professionals should communicate directly with children about their medicines at an appropriate cognitive level in order to increase their understanding and skills concerning health issues.
This article was published in Patient Educ Couns
and referenced in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs: Open Access