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Table 5 Example of the concept tracking matrix for attributes included in the Pediatric Oral Medicines Acceptability Questionnaires

From: Development and content validation of the Pediatric Oral Medicines Acceptability Questionnaires (P-OMAQ): patient-reported and caregiver-reported outcome measures

Concept description and example quote Frequency of participant report, n (%)
(N = 36)
(Pediatric: n = 23)
(Caregiver: n = 13)
Reported in literature, n (%)
(N = 40 articles)
Reported or confirmed by advisors
Taste (before swallowing)
The way the medicine tasted when in the patient’s mouth when taking the medicine (e.g. bitter, salty, sweet) was deemed to be an important attribute across all formulation types
For participants who reported an unpleasant experience with the taste of their medicine, described it as being “bitter”, having a “sourness”, and/or tasting “metallic”. Others used more general terminology, simply saying it tasted “very strong”, or had a “bad taste”. Some patients reacted negatively to “artificial” fruit flavors (e.g. “bad excuse for cherry”)
Pediatric: 19 (82.6)
Caregiver: 13 (100.0)
24 (60) Yes
Texture/mouth feel
In general, participants with tablets/pills described the way the medicine feels when in their mouth as “smooth”, and they did not report any difficulties/problems associated with this attribute
When the way the medicine felt in the patient’s mouth was perceived as negative or unpleasant, this attribute was described as “heavy”, “weird”, “gritty”, “chunky”, and “thick” by participants with liquid medicine. With powdered medicine, it was described as “kind of like sand”
Pediatric: 19 (82.6)
Caregiver: 11 (84.6)
11 (27.5) Yes
Swallowability
Described by participants as the ability to/ease with which one can swallow the medicine
In general, participants reported that they did not have issues swallowing their current medicine, with some describing the process as “easy” or “not [getting] as stuck in my throat as other pills do”
Pediatric: 19 (82.6)
Caregiver: 9 (69.2)
17 (42.5) Yes
Size/amount
Size of pills/tablets was discussed within the context of the diameter or dimension of the medicine (e.g. “less than a half inch”) or a broad descriptor (e.g. “it was medium… Not a lot”)
Amount of medicine was discussed within the context of the number of pills/tablets taken with each dose, or in the case of liquids the total volume taken with each dose (e.g. “a cup of it” or “a teaspoon”)
Pediatric: 17 (73.9)
Caregiver: 12 (92.3)
16 (40.0) Yes
Dosing frequency
Both patients, and the caregiver, who reported this concept indicated that administering the medicine less frequently (e.g. taking medicine once per day instead of twice per day) would be preferable
Pediatric: 2 (8.7%)
Caregiver: 1 (7.7%)
2 (4.9) Yes