Exploring caregiver understanding of medications immediately after a pediatric primary care visit

Bayldon, B. W.; Glusman, M.; Fortuna, N. M.; Ariza, A. J.; Binns, H. J.

Patient Educ Couns. 2013 Feb 23; 91(2):255-60


OBJECTIVE: Assess accuracy of caregiver understanding of children's prescribed medications and examine factors associated with accurate recall. METHODS: Cross-sectional, observational study of English- or Spanish-speaking caregivers of primary care patients aged 0-7 years. Child and visit characteristics and caregiver health literacy (Short Test of Health Literacy in Adults) were assessed. Post-visit, caregivers completed questionnaires on medications prescribed. Caregiver and medical record agreement on medication name and administration (dose and frequency) were examined using chi square and logistic regression. RESULTS: Analyses included 68 caregivers (28% low health literacy); 96% of children had public insurance. Caregivers indicated that the doctor provided clear medication information (100%) and they could follow instructions (98%). 101 medicines were prescribed; 6 were recalled by caregiver only. 71% of medications were accurately named; 37% of administration instructions were accurately recalled. Accurate naming was more often found for patients 3-7 years, without conditions requiring repeat visits, and new medications. Accurate administration responses were associated with having only 1 child at the visit. CONCLUSION: Unperceived medication instruction understanding gaps exist at physician visits for caregivers of all literacy levels. Communication and care delivery practices need further evaluation. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians should be aware of the frequency of caregiver medication misunderstanding.

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