International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1501–1510 | Cite as

Relationship between adolescents’ and their parents’ attitudes toward medicines and awareness of the risk of medicines

  • Zuzana KlimaszovaEmail author
  • Tomas Fazekas
  • Magdalena Kuzelova
Research Article


Background When they reach adolescence, children begin to independently use medicine without their parents’ supervision, but parents usually still want to be involved in their drug therapy. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate how parental attitudes and awareness toward medicine relate to adolescents’ attitudes and awareness. Setting Twelve secondary schools in different regions of the Slovak Republic. Method Adolescents and parents responded to a questionnaire, and the answers were paired and analysed. Parental and adolescents’ attitudes toward medicines and awareness of the risk of medicines were measured using a five-point Likert scale. Main outcome measure The strength of the relationship between parents’ and their adolescent children’s level of agreement with statements about medicines. Results There were significant differences between parents᾽ and adolescents’ mean Likert scores for statements about their attitudes toward medicines and their awareness of the risk of medicines (p < 0.05). Parents and adolescents were not fully aware of the risks of cough medicine (73.5% and 76.1%), antihistamines (32.7% and 52.1%), painkillers (33.6% and 47%) and combining medicines (25.2% and 40.4%). More than half of the parents and adolescents had a positive perception of the effectiveness of medication and believed that taking medicine would not hurt adolescents. Parents’ and adolescents’ responses to the statements were directly proportional (r = 0.94, p < 0.001). Conclusion The analysis revealed a relationship between Slovakian adolescents’ and their parents’ attitudes and awareness toward medicine; it highlighted areas of adolescents’ and parents’ education about the proper use of medications.


Adolescents Knowledge Medicine Parents Risk perception Slovak Republic 



The authors would like to thank Slovak Chamber of Pharmacists and experts from Slovak State Institute for drug control in Bratislava for cooperation and support.


This work was supported by the Grant from Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University in Bratislava [FAF UK/5/2017]; and the Slovak Chamber of Pharmacist Grants [01/2016, 01/2017].

Conflicts of interest

The Authors declare that there is no conflicts of interest.


  1. 1.
    Christie D, Viner R. Adolescent development. BMJ. 2005;330:30–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Stoelben S, Krappweis J, Rössler G, Kirch W. Adolescents’ drug use and drug knowledge. Eur J Pediatr. 2000;159:608–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wilson KM, Singh P, Blumkin AK, Dallas L, Klein JD. Knowledge gaps and misconceptions about over-the-counter analgesics among adolescents attending a hospital-based clinic. Acad Pediatr. 2010;10:228–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eldalo AS, Yousif MA, Abdallah MA. Saudi school students’ knowledge, attitude and practice toward medicines. Saudi Pharm J. 2014;22:213–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hanghøj S, Bosein K. Self-reported barriers to medication adherence among chronically ill adolescents: a systematic review. J Adolesc Health. 2014;54:121–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sweis D, Wong ICK. Giving medicines to children: understanding the parents’ views. Paediatr Drugs. 2004;6:67–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Walsh A, Edwards H. Management of childhood fever by parents: literature review. J Adv Nurs. 2006;54:217–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Deis JN, Spiro DM, Jenkins CA, Buckles TL, Arnold DH. Parental knowledge and use of preventive asthma care measures in two pediatric emergency departments. J Asthma. 2010;47:1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Boztepe H, Özdemir H, Karababa C, Yıldız Ö. Administration of oral medication by parents at home. J Clin Nurs. 2016;25:3345–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Conn KM, Halterman JS, Fisher SG, Yoos HL, Chin PN, Szilagyi PG. Parental beliefs about medications and medication adherence among urban children with asthma. Ambul Pediatr. 2005;5:306–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Conn KM, Halterman JS, Lynch K, Cabana MD. The impact of parents’ medication beliefs on asthma management. Pediatrics. 2007;120:521–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bertille N, Fournier-Charrière E, Pons G, Chalumeau M. Managing fever in children: a national survey of parents’ knowledge and practices in france. PLoS ONE. 2013;8:834–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Trajanovska M, Manias E, Cranswick N, Johnston L. Parental management of childhood complaints: over-the-counter medicine use and advice-seeking behaviours. J Clin Nurs. 2010;19:2065–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Birchley N, Conroy S. Parental management of over-the-counter medicines. Paediatr Nurs. 2002;14:24–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hämeen-Anttila K, Halonen P, Siponen S, Holappa M, Ahonen R. Parental attitudes toward medicine use in children in Finland. Int J Clin Pharm. 2011;33:849–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Siponen S, Ahonen R, Kiviniemi V, Hämeen-Anttila K. Association between parental attitudes and self-medication of their children. Int J Clin Pharm. 2013;35:113–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jensen FJ, Gottschau M, Siersma VD, Hauskov Graungaard A, Holstein BE, Ehlert Knudsen L. Association of maternal self-medication and over-the-counter analgesics for children. Pediatrics. 2014;133:291–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Abraham O, Brothers A, Alexander DS, Carpenter DM. Pediatric medication use experiences and patient counseling in community pharmacies: perspectives of children and parents. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2017;57:38–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hatchette JE, McGrath PJ, Marray M, Finley A. Maternal influences in adolescents’ pain self-management: a qualitative investigation. Vulnerable Child Youth Stud. 2006;1:159–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hasseleid SN, Clench-Aas J, Raanaas RK, Lundqvist CH. The association between adolescent and parental use of non-prescription analgesics for headache and other somatic pain—a cross-sectional study. Scand J Pain. 2017;16:114–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Klimaszova Z, Fazekas T, Kuzelova M. Development and validation of novel self-report questionnaire about the assessment of adolescents’ relation to medicines use and risk. Eur Pharm J. 2016;63:33–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fernández-Castillo A, Vílchez-Lara MJ. Anxiety and parent’s beliefs about medication in primary pediatric health care. Clínica y Salud. 2014;25:117–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Koster ES, Heerdink ER, de Vries TW, Bouvy ML. Attitudes towards medication use in a general population of adolescents. Eur J Pediatr. 2014;173:483–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of PharmacyComenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovak Republic
  2. 2.Department of Physical Chemistry of Drugs, Faculty of PharmacyComenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovak Republic

Personalised recommendations