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Medication Adherence in Children

Mervat Alsous*

Faculty of Pharmacy, Applied Science Private University, Jordan

*Corresponding Author:
Mervat Alsous
Assistant Professor in Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacokinetics
Faculty of Pharmacy
Applied Science Private University Amman
Jordan, 11931, P.O. Box 166, Jordan.
Tel: +0096265609999
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: January 20, 2017; Accepted Date: January 21, 2017; Published Date: January 25, 2017

Citation: Alsous M. Medication Adherence in Children. J Healthc Commun. 2017, 2:1. doi: 10.4172/2472-1654.100048

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Most of clinical research studies are focused on the adult population with relatively few studies carried out in children due to ethical issues and the practical difficulties in conducting research studies in this patient group [1]. Safe use of medicine is, however, an important issue especially in children, due to inappropriate dosing regimens that may lead to severe toxicity and death. On the other not taking the medication may lead to failure of therapy.

Adherence is complex issue and multifactorial especially in children with chronic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003 established the definition of adherence as “the extent to which a person’s behaviour–taking medication, following a diet, and/or executing lifestyle changes corresponds with agreed recommendations from a healthcare provider” [2].

Non-adherence differs from patient to patient, from drug to drug and even from one disease to another and becomes significant whenever it leads to a change in the intended therapeutic effect. Both Parents and children play an important role in adherence to mediation and it is recommended to check adherence from both parties. At young age parents are responsible for giving the medication to their children and hence parental believes, knowledge and attitude may affect giving the medication to their children with the correct dose and time. At Older age children/ adolescent may take the responsibility of taking the mediation and they may are not aware enough about consequences of non-adherence to medication. On the other hand assessing medication adherence is another complex issue. Using self-report (including the use of questionnaires) is the most commonly used method to assess adherence in clinical practice [3-5]. However, this approach can be susceptible to misrepresentation and may overestimate a patient's adherence [4] due to social desirability bias, i.e., reporting to the researchers or clinicians "what they want to hear" [3,4,6-8].

Medical records measure the quantity of medication prescribed, dispensing records measure the amount of medication dispensed, electronic device measures the opening of the container, while pill counts measure the amount of medication removed from the container. Pharmacological markers and blood levels monitoring give an indication of when and how much medication the patient has ingested and self-report measures the patient's recall of what they have taken. All of these parameters do not necessarily exactly reflect what the patient has taken and therefore may be considered as measures of variables indicative of adherence rather than absolute measures of medication use [3,9].

In brief, measuring adherence is very challenging in chronic diseases; there is no gold standard test to assess adherence to oral medication and therefore multi-method approaches are needed to get a true adherence estimate over a period of time [3,10,11].


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