Unlike adult medications, pediatric medications rely heavily on liquid formulations and parents have to use appropriate dosing tools with standard markings such as syringes and dosing cups to accurately administer the medication to their child. This article published in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics discusses how dosing errors are influenced by the design of such dosing tools.
Excerpts from the study which involved 2099 parents are described below:
•More than 80% of parents made one or more dosing errors (greater than 20% deviation from the normal dose)
• More than 20% of parents made one or more large dosing error (greater than 2 times the normal dose)
• More dosing errors were made with cups than syringes, especially with small dose amounts. This suggests that it is ideal to use a syringe rather than a dosing cup to effectively administer a 2.5 mL or a 5 mL dose
• Parents made less errors with 5 mL syringes compared to 2.5 mL and 7.5 mL syringes, suggesting that comprehension of whole numbers might be easier. This has implications for limiting medication doses to whole amounts
How would Core do this differently?
Participants in this study were given a dosing tool and were given as much time as they needed to read the label and asked to show how much medicine the label told them to give a child. However, in real life, parents may administer the medication under dim lighting or might be distracted by a crying child. Hence, the results of the study may have been different if the study environment was simulated in a more realistic manner. One of the unique services we provide at Core is designing a study that has taken into consideration all the relevant characteristics of the intended usage environment (e.g., lighting, noise, clutter), which has a significant impact on how the intended users interact with a product.