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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


SANO, Priscilla Y.; MASOTTI, Renata R.; SANTOS, Antonio A.C. dos  and  CORDEIRO, José A.. Evaluation of the understanding level of pediatric prescription. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2002, vol.78, n.2, pp.140-145. ISSN 0021-7557.

Objective: this study intends to establish the relation between the understanding level of pediatric prescription by the mother, or other adult, accompanying the child to a doctor's visit and the probable causes of noncompliance with the treatment, in order to improve the quality of pediatric health care. Methods: we randomly interviewed one hundred adults who accompanied children to the pediatric outpatient clinic of Hospital Universitário. They received medical orientation and/or prescriptions. The interviews were made from April to October 2000 and we used a questionnaire to evaluate social, economic and cultural status. We also evaluated aspects related to the appointment and treatment, and the understanding of doctor's handwriting and prescription.Results: eighty-three percent of them received a prescription and 17% received only orientation; 88% were the mothers and 63% had not finished elementary school. Concerning the appointment, 80% felt satisfied. Seventy-one percent among those who received prescriptions could understand the doctor's handwriting and 29% had some or none understanding of it. Forty-seven percent of the prescriptions had symbols and/or abbreviations that could not be understood by 59% of the adults. Seventy-one percent could remember all the prescribed drugs without looking at the prescription; 15.7% needed to read it in order to remember the drugs; 7.2% could not remember the drugs and said that a pharmacist had to help them and 6% could not remember or read the prescription.Conclusion: aspects related to the poor understanding of pediatric prescriptions are caused by the low social, economic and cultural status of the adult accompanying the child; as well as aspects regarding physicians such as the use of symbols and abbreviations, illegible handwriting and verbal orientation only.

Keywords : prescription of medication; pediatrics; patient’s satisfaction; medical care; guarantee of health quality.

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