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Parents' poor math skills may lead to medication errors
Date:4/27/2012

s they measured out a dose of the medication that had been prescribed for their child.

Study results revealed that nearly one in three parents had low reading skills, while 83 percent of parents had poor numeracy skills (27 percent had skills at the third grade level or below).

Observations showed that 41 percent of parents made a dosing error. Parents' math scores, in particular, were associated with measuring mistakes, with parents who scored below the third grade level on the math test having almost a five times increased odds of making a dosing error.

"Our study found that many parents have poor numeracy skills, placing them at risk for making dosing errors," Dr. Yin said. "These findings point to a need to examine whether strategies that specifically address parent math skills can help reduce medication errors in children. In addition, recognition of the importance of addressing numeracy skills may be helpful for health care providers as they seek to improve their communication of medication instructions. For example, having providers review and give parents pictures of dosing instruments filled to the correct amount for that prescription may be beneficial."


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Contact: Debbie Jacobson
djacobson@aap.org
847-434-7084
American Academy of Pediatrics
Source:Eurekalert

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