Adherence to medication is an issue in adults but in children, there is the added difficulty of child refusal of medication. Researchers at the university, led by Dr Angela MacAdam have been investigating the issue of child refusal of medication as this can have an adverse impact on:
- the health outcome for the child
- the cost to the health service and
- cause distress to parents/carers attempting to administer medicine.
There are three components to child refusal of medication being investigated by researchers, namely, the roles of the child, the medication and the parent/carer.
Dr Angela MacAdam and Dr Sian Williams are interested in the role of the child where evidence suggests that there is a link between children who refuse medication and those who are fussy eaters.
How medicines are experienced through the senses, including taste, sight, smell and touch, is a factor. Professor Paul Gard and Dr Angela MacAdam are looking at how these organoleptic properties of medicines affect child refusal and therefore adherence in studies being conducted at the Aldey Hey Hospital.
In addition, there are some exciting new areas being pursued by Dr Matt Ingram and Dr Angela MacAdam relating to individualising medication where the child can design their dose form with the aim of increasing acceptability of the medicine and therefore adherence.
The final component under investigation is the role of the parent/carer where the influence of parenting style on child refusal is being researched.