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Open AccessArticle

Understanding of Information about Medicines Use among Parents of Pre-School Children in Serbia: Parental Pharmacotherapy Literacy Questionnaire (PTHL-SR)

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Medicines and Medical Devices Agency of Serbia (ALIMS), 11221 Belgrade, Serbia
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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, 11221 Belgrade, Serbia
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Institute of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
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Department of Social Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Legislation, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Belgrade, 11221 Belgrade, Serbia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050977
Received: 9 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 16 April 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Literacy in Context—Settings, Media, and Populations)
Parental health literacy plays an important role in children’s health. Experiences from pharmacy practice show that is necessary to check if parents understand instructions about use of medicines for children. This study aimed to assess pharmacotherapy literacy of parents of pre-school children and to examine association of parental pharmacotherapy literacy level with parent’s socio-demographic characteristics. The study was cross-sectional, conducted among parents of pre-school children (1–7 years of age), in kindergartens in several municipalities of Belgrade, Serbia, during regular parents meetings, from May to October 2016. Functional health literacy was measured by the Serbian version of the Short Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (S-TOFHLA). Parental pharmacotherapy literacy was assessed with newly constructed PTHL-SR questionnaire with good psychometric characteristics (Parental pharmacotherapy literacy questionnaire—Serbian). Overall, 813 parents participated in the study, mostly females (81.30%), between 30 to 40 years of age (70.85%) with two children (56.70%). Almost all of our study participants (99%) had adequate health literacy as assessed by S-TOFHLA. Mean score on PTHL-SR was 72.83% (standard deviation was 13.37), with better results among females than males (72% of women were in the group of highest PTHL-SR results). Our study showed that many parents (76.5%) knew the appropriate usage of non-prescription medicine for children, 57.2% parents were able to correctly calculate the dose of oral syrup for a child, and only 43.3% were able to interpret non-prescription dosage information written on the package. The majority of parents (61.3%) would make a dosage to child based on age and not on their weight. Every fifth parent with adequate functional health literacy measured by S-TOFHLA test, achieved the lowest results measured by PTHL-SR. Higher performance of the PTHL-SR was significantly correlated with education (p < 0.001), female sex (p < 0.001), married parents and those living in common-law (p < 0.001), older parents (p < 0.05) and parents who have more children (p < 0.05), and are non-smokers (p < 0.05). These results provide evidence that limitations in understanding common information about use of medicines are widespread among parents of pre-school children and encourage efforts for further investigation. PTHL-SR questionnaire may be a useful tool for identification of parents who need more instructions and assistance from healthcare providers, above all in providing better communication, written or spoken at community pharmacy settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: parents; pharmacotherapy; health literacy; health education; pre-school children parents; pharmacotherapy; health literacy; health education; pre-school children
MDPI and ACS Style

Ubavić, S.; Bogavac-Stanojević, N.; Jović-Vraneš, A.; Krajnović, D. Understanding of Information about Medicines Use among Parents of Pre-School Children in Serbia: Parental Pharmacotherapy Literacy Questionnaire (PTHL-SR). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 977.

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