Administration of nasal medications to infants and young children – thematic analysis of parents’ experiences in online forum discussions and blogs

Bulbul, Alpaslan, Jones, Christina, Mukhopadhyay, Somnath and Smith, Helen (2015) Administration of nasal medications to infants and young children – thematic analysis of parents’ experiences in online forum discussions and blogs. In: The British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 4-6 September 2015, Telford International Centre, UK.

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Background: Allergic rhinitis is an increasing problem among children in developed countries. A 12-year birth cohort study from 2001 to 2012 on Isle of Wight showed that current-rhinitis and lifetime-rhinitis prevalence increased by 5.5% (22.6-vs-28.1, p=0.004) and 13% (18.6-vs-31.7, p<0.001) respectively. Parents play an essential role in the administration of medication, but to date no qualitative research has focussed on the administration challenges of nasal medications to young children. The objective of this study was to explore the experiences of parents administering nasal medications to their children. Using a novel method in paediatric health services research in allergy, online forum discussions and blog posts were used for this matter. Methods: Simple searches in Google were done to identify websites, where parents generally discussed the care of their atopic children. After that, advanced title searches in Google, Yahoo and Bing were done in the most appropriate websites like,,, etc. Keywords for these advanced searches were: ‘how to nasal spray/drops toddler’, ‘tips nasal spray/drops toddler’, etc. A thematic analysis was used: First, the forum discussions and blog posts were transcribed into Word with line numbers; Transcripts were coded and divided into subthemes and themes; For ethical reasons, only online forum discussions were used which could be accessed without having to sign in. Results: 29 online forum discussions and 1 weblog were analysed, where parents of children with rhinitis symptoms sought advice on how to administer nasal medications or nasal saline irrigation. The following themes were found: 1. Barriers to medication administration: Resistance towards nasal medications shown by infants and young children was widely reported: Other barriers were fear of medications or hatred towards it: 2. Consequences to barriers of medication administration: Very common for parents was to use force because of resistance to medication which led to emotional disturbance in parents: 3. Facilitators for successful nasal medication administration: Several strategies for successful nasal medication administration were suggested like demonstration, distraction, while asleep, or game. Conclusions: This qualitative research highlights the challenges parents face when administering nasal medications to their children with rhinitis; Health professionals need to be aware of these difficulties to advise parents about medication administration appropriately; More research is needed to understand how best to facilitate the delivery of nasal treatment for allergic rhinitis in order to develop optimal control, and possibly prevent progression to asthma.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Clinical and Experimental Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
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Depositing User: Jane Hale
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2015 10:24
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2017 09:55

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