Immigrant Mothers’ Knowledge of Medication Safety and Administration for Young Children

  •  Wen-Tsung Huang    
  •  Yu-Ching Yeh    


The goals of this paper are to compare immigrant (Southeast Asian and Chinese) and non-immigrant (Taiwanese) mothers’ knowledge of medication safety and administration for children, and to reveal how the accessibility of medical resources could affect immigrant mothers’ medication administration. The medication knowledge and communication ability of immigrants are suggested to be insufficient, which could be the main reason for medication errors. When medical resources can be accessed easily, immigrant mothers’ medication errors may be reduced. A survey with stratified sampling was used. Data were gathered from 643 participants with young children in Taiwan. A researcher-designed questionnaire was used to solicit participants’ responses concerning medication preservation and medication administration. Southeast Asian mothers need the help of doctors or family members; they frequently administer suppositories to febrile children, store children’s medication in the fridge, and pay less attention to the expiry date. Chinese immigrant mothers tend to let children take Chinese medicine, give previously prescribed drugs to sick children, give other children’s medication to sick children, and buy medicines at a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. When the participants spend more than 31 minutes travelling to the nearest clinic, they are more likely to misuse medication, such as giving previously prescribed drugs to a sick child, and combining medication with Chinese medicine. The findings of this study suggest that the medication knowledge and administration habits of immigrant and non-immigrant mothers differ. The parents of young children take sick children to seek proper medical treatment when they are able to easily access medical resources.

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