, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 81-89
Date: 04 Nov 2009

Validating the Children’s Medicines Use Questionnaire (CMUQ) in Australia

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Abstract

Objective: To pilot test the validity and reliability of the English version of the Children’s Medicines Questionnaire (CMUQ) and to explore the attitudes of Australian caregivers towards the use of medicines in children. Setting: Survey of Australian parents and primary care givers of children 0–15 years. Methods: The questionnaire was translated from Finnish to English then back-translated to ensure semantic equivalence. A total of 153 parents/main caregiver of a child aged 0–15 years were recruited via convenience sampling. Construct validity of the attitudinal section of the CMUQ was performed using exploratory factor analysis. Reliability was assessed using the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient as a marker of internal consistency. Three focus groups were conducted to explore participants’ attitudes towards medicating children and to triangulate quantitative data. Main outcome measure: Construct validity and internal reliability of the CMUQ. Results: Factor analysis generated a parsimonious four factor solution explaining 50% of variance in the data. The four subscales representing the four factor solution each returned a Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient >0.6, indicating good internal consistency. Participants in focus groups were satisfied with the structure and content of the questionnaire. There were 5 emergent themes through focus group discussions with parents and primary care givers of children, regarding the perception of medicines use in children. These included, ‘concerns about the negative effects of medicines’, ‘medicines are useful, necessary and safe in treating illnesses in children’, ‘the body’s natural processes are sufficient in fighting illness’, ‘over the counter medicines are effective and useful in treating illness’, ‘perception of alternative medicines use in children’. Conclusions: The CMUQ is a valid and reliable tool to measure parents’ medicine use for their children in an Australian sample. Although small modifications should be made, this instrument will be valuable in informing the development of medicines information for this cohort in the future.