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Keywords:

  • food;
  • medication;
  • modification;
  • nurses;
  • paediatric

Medication is often mixed into soft foods to aid swallowing in children. However, this can alter the physical/chemical properties of the active drug. This study reports on the prevalence of the modification procedure, the nature of foodstuffs routinely used and factors which influence how the procedure is performed by nurses working in the National Health Service in Scotland. Mixed methods were employed encompassing an online self-administered questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. One hundred and eleven nurses participated, of whom 87% had modified medication prior to administration. Fruit juice (diluted and concentrated) and yoghurts were most commonly used. The interviews (i) identified the limitations of the procedure; (ii) explored the decision-making process; and (iii) confirmed the procedure was a last resort. This study intends to address some of the uncertainty surrounding the medicine modification procedure within the paediatric population.