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Parents/caregivers' perceptions towards use of analgesic suppositories in paediatric elective surgery

 Department of Anaesthesiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Nondwe Mgoqo,
Department of Anaesthesiology, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, 7 York Road, Parktown 2193, Johannesburg
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajps.ajps_90_21

Introduction: Despite the benefits of analgesic suppositories, there remains controversy around their administration. The perceptions of the parents and caregivers regarding this are unknown in our population. We investigated the perceptions of parents/caregivers towards the use of analgesic suppositories in elective paediatric surgery. We also explored whether parents/caregivers perceived a need for additional consent for the administration of suppositories. Materials and Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional study conducted at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, South Africa. The primary outcome was to describe perceptions of parents/caregivers towards analgesic suppositories. Questionnaire-guided interviews were conducted with parents/caregivers of children presenting for elective paediatric surgery. Results: Three hundred and one parents/caregivers were enrolled in the study. Two hundred and sixty-two (87%) were female and 174 (13%) were male. Two hundred and seventy-six (92%) were parents and 24 (9%) were caregivers. There was a high level of acceptability of suppository use in 243 (81%) parents/caregivers. Majority (235, 78%) felt that they should be asked for permission before their child was given a suppository, and more than half (134, 57%) expressed that it should be in a written consent format. The parents/caregivers did not believe that suppositories would cause pain (unadjusted odds ratio [uOR]: 2.49; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.29–4.79; P = 0.006) but were unsure whether they would relieve post-operative pain (uOR: 0.25; 95% CI: 0.11–0.57; P = 0.001). Those who had previously used a suppository themselves were significantly more likely to accept the use of suppositories in children (uOR: 4.34; 95% CI: 1.56–12.07; P = 0.005). Conclusion: There was a high level of acceptability of the use of analgesic suppositories. Our population showed a unique preference for written consent over verbal consent. There was a strong positive association between previous use of suppositories by parents/caregivers and acceptance for use in children.

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