Stepping into small shoes: Gaining user perspective on appropriate administration devices for paediatric medication in India
A cross sectional pan-India study about use of administration devices for paediatric oral and inhalation medicines was conducted with a diverse pool of participants of various age groups. Via 634 respondents from more than 15 states in India, this study has identified the administration devices commonly used by parents/caregivers for children 0 to 18 years and by children over 10 years. It has provided insights on device ease of use, challenges faced and recommendations to facilitate the correct use of administration devices for paediatric oral and inhalation medicines. Ethics approval (DPSRU-BREC/2020/A/008)) was obtained from the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee of Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University.
The survey was completed by parents only (n = 514) and jointly by both parents and children (n = 120). The mean age of the child was 7.2 ± 4.96 years. 72% of the respondents reported that an oral medicine had been taken recently, 6.3% reported that an inhaled medicine had been taken and the remaining 21.9% reported that both an oral and inhaled medicine had been taken. The use of measuring cup was most prevalent followed by household spoons. The mean of the score for ease of use was found to be highest 4.6 ± 0.50 for oral syringe and lowest (3.8 ± 0.76) for measuring cups. The majority of them found the oral device easy to use. Difficulties were reported mostly for measuring cups and household spoons and were related to a lack of user instructions and measuring difficulties. The respondents who found the device easy to use had mostly received clear instructions from healthcare professionals.
Compared to oral devices, there were very limited responses for inhalation devices (n = 175/634). Nebulisers with facemasks were most frequently used followed by manually actuated Metered dose inhalers with and without spacer. The mean of the ease-of-use score for dry powder inhalers was found to be highest (4.2 ± 0.37) followed by mist inhalers (4.0 ± 0) and manually actuated pressurised metered dose inhalers (4.0 ± 0.71). The nebulisers with facemask were reported to be difficult to use by most of the respondents despite receiving clear instructions from healthcare professionals.
The study findings add evidence to the understudied area of user experiences and perspectives on administration devices for oral and inhalation medicines in India. It highlights a need for initiatives to improve the usability, availability, and affordability of administration devices for children in India. Awareness on the importance of proper use of devices needs to be raised and sustained about the existence of affordable administration devices.
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Saba Abidi, Sushama Talegaonkar, Soniya Notani, Varsha Pradhan, Varsha Pokharkar, Harvinder Popli, Jennifer Walsh, Smita Salunke, Stepping into small shoes: Gaining user perspective on appropriate administration devices for paediatric medication in India, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, Volume 191, 2023, Pages 247-258, ISSN 0939-6411, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpb.2023.09.005.
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