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Medicines use in hospitalised children: current status and outcome after an intervention

Authors:

S N Thiyahiny ,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, LK
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M G Sathiadas,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, LK
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K Sanchayan,

Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna, LK
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C Vamadevan,

Teaching Hospital of Batticaloa, LK
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R Balasubramaniam,

Medical Research Institute, Ministry of Health, LK
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S Sri Ranganathan

Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Introduction Challenges in rational use of medicines (RUM) in children are different from that of adults. In Sri Lanka, data on RUM in children are limited.

Objective To assess the current status and to investigate effectiveness of an intervention in improving RUM in children.

Methods Non-randomised controlled before and after study design was employed. Study settings were one paediatric unit in two Teaching Hospitals one for intervention (IU) and the other as a control (CU) unit. After assessing the current status in both units, a combined intervention (one-time training and distribution of a paediatric formulary) was offered to IU and medicine use was re-assessed in both units three months and one year after intervention. Fourteen indicators (7 WHO and 7 developed by investigators) were employed in the assessment. Any improvement was analysed using percentage changes, Chi-square or t tests as appropriate.

Results A total of 1134 charts, 735 (3197 medicines) in IU and 399 (1539 medicines) in CU were subjected to analysis. At base level, of the 14 indicators, 9 were assessed satisfactory in both units. Four could not be assessed without knowing the clinical setting. The remaining indicator, reason for prescribing was recorded for 48% and 76% of medicines respectively in IU and CU. After intervention, only three indicators, medicines that had the reason for prescription recorded in the patient records, children treated without regular medicines, and children received the recommended doses of paracetamol, showed favourable changes in three months and one year. Percentage of medicines written in abbreviation showed an undesirable increase in IU (6.9, 16.2, 29.6) which was higher than what was observed in CU (3.2, 13.5, 18.4).

Conclusions Passive interventions appear to be ineffective in improving RUM in children. In addition, general medicine use indicators seem to be insensitive to capture the true challenges in paediatric pharmacotherapy.  

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v61i3.8348
How to Cite: Thiyahiny, S.N., Sathiadas, M.G., Sanchayan, K., Vamadevan, C., Balasubramaniam, R. and Sri Ranganathan, S., 2016. Medicines use in hospitalised children: current status and outcome after an intervention. Ceylon Medical Journal, 61(3), pp.123–129. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v61i3.8348
Published on 03 Oct 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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