Prescription Drug Information: Do People Read and Retain It?

Monday, October 24, 2016
Researchers from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Butler University in Indianapolis conducted a study to determine if people actually read prescription drug information. Noting that self-reporting measures are unreliable, they created a fictional prescription drug website for an allergy medication and used an eye-tracking device to determine how much of the information was actually viewed. The researchers also assessed recall of the information on the website.

Not surprisingly, although 80% of the 29 participants claimed to have read half or more of the risk information, eye-tracking measures revealed limited-to-no viewing of this information. Study participants had minimal unaided recall and modest aided recall of risks.

This study suggests that clinicians play an important role in conveying risk information and assessing the patient’s understanding of that information, rather than having patients rely on written drug information alone. The study findings are available here.

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Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN
Blog Info
Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN is an oncology nursing consultant and editor-in-chief of Oncology Nursing News.
Author Bio
Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is the Editor-in-Chief for OncLive Nursing. She is an oncology nursing consultant and adjunct assistant professor of nursing at Louisiana State Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA. She provides continuing nursing education to nurses across the Unites States, is active in several professional nursing organizations, and is intrigued by the many ways nurses use technology to communicate.
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