Barriers to administering non-oral formulations in a paediatric population: a semi-structured interview study

Rebecca Venables, Hannah Batchelor, Heather Stirling, John Marriott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


There is a paucity of research exploring barriers to non-oral medicines administration in paediatric patients; however, these undoubtedly influence medicines adherence. Studies conducted with healthcare professionals have identified various issues with the administration and acceptance of non-oral medicines and devices (Venables et al., 2012; Walsh et al., 2015). EMA (2014) guidelines specify that formulation teams should demonstrate 'acceptability' of paediatric formulations when developing pharmaceutical formulations. Semi-structured interviews exploring barriers to administering non-oral medicines were conducted with young persons and the parents/legal guardians of children (0-17 years) with chronic conditions at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire, UK. 90 children prescribed a total of 148 non-oral medicines were recruited to the study; 88 barriers to administering non-oral medicines were reported. The most commonly reported barriers were: poor acceptance of face mask/difficulties with spacer for inhaled formulations (38% of reports); disliking parenteral/preferring alternative formulations (38% of reports); greasy texture of topical preparations; difficulty with administering an ocular ointment and the large dose volume of a nasal preparation. Formulation teams should consider the use of child-friendly, age-appropriate designs to improve usability and acceptance, thus medicines adherence. These findings should be used to inform future development of non-oral formulations and devices, suitable in terms of safety, efficacy and acceptability to paediatric patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
Early online date28 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2016


  • acceptability
  • barriers to administration
  • device
  • formulation
  • medicine
  • pediatric
  • usability


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