The Influence of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Socioeconomic Status on Caregivers' Decision-Making about OTC Medications Cough and Cold Medications in Preschool Children,
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The use of over-the-counter OTC medication is an essential part of health care in the United States. Kogan, Pappas, Yu, and Kotelchuck 1994 reported that nearly 2 billion per year is spent on cold remedies alone, and an estimated 70 of illnesses are treated with OTC medications. The use of OTC medications for children is a particularly important topic as early research found that OTC medications may be used in lieu of obtaining medical care Maiman, Becker, Cummings, Drachnian, OConnor, 1982. Kogan et al. 1994 reported that in a 30 day period 53.7 of all 3 year old children were given some type of OTC medications. When the types of medications received by the children were studied, it was found that Tylenol was given 66.7 of the time, cough and cold medications CCM 66.7, and other pain relievers 6.9. The reported percentages are greater than 100 because many children received two or more OTC medications in the 30 day period Kogan et al., 1994. Factors affecting the mothers or caretakers decision to medicate a child can include attitudes and beliefs regarding childrens health, sociodemographic characteristics, and the effectiveness of the medications Maiman, Becker, Katlic, 1986. Kogan et al. 1994 and Maiman et al. 1986 found that the use of OTC medication in children is directly related to the educational level and socioeconomic status SES of the mother. The researchers concluded that the higher the SES and educational level of the mother the more OTC medications the children were likely to receive.
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