Accessibility statement

Managing multiple medications for children and young people with life-limiting conditions

Children and young people with life-limiting conditions are likely to require multiple medications that may change as they get older and when they are unwell.

Polypharmacy, which refers to taking several different medications alongside each other, is often appropriate and necessary for children with complex and life-limiting conditions. However, it can increase the risk of problems such as medication errors and adverse reactions, and place additional burden on children and families who have to manage complex medication schedules at home. It is also likely that some medications may continue when they are no longer required. Addressing what we call problematic polypharmacy for these children and young people is therefore a priority.

Currently, there is very little evidence about the numbers and types of medication that children and young people with life-limiting conditions are prescribed, how this changes over time and the problems associated with this. We also know very little about how medications are reviewed for these children, and the challenges that families experience when their child is taking lots of medication.

This research will:

1) describe prevalence (numbers) and patterns of polypharmacy in children and young people with life-limiting conditions

2) understand what problematic polypharmacy might look like for these children and young people

3) identify priorities for future research that will address problematic polypharmacy for this population.

Funding

Funder:  Wellcome Trust / Centre for Future Health
Start Date: December 2018
End Date: September 2019

Members

Internal Staff

External Collaborators

Public Health and Society Research in the Department of Health Sciences