Consumers, particularly older ones, often overlook prescription drug warning labels in part because the labels fail to attract attention, said Nora Bello, an assistant professor of statistics at Kansas State University.
Bello helped investigate the effectiveness of prescription drug warning labels to convey drug information to patients. She and experts in packaging and psychology found that prescription drug warning labels fail to capture patients' attention, impairing the communication of important safety information. The research is published in PLoS ONE.
"These findings have implications for the design of prescription drug warning labels to improve their effectiveness, particularly as the U.S. government recently started to investigate approaches to standardize the format and content of these labels to decrease medication error rates," Bello said. "Results from this study can provide insight to assist debates about labeling designs that are most likely to impact a wide age range of consumers."
About 15 million medication errors occur each year in the United States, and most happen at home where patients are responsible for complying with medication regimes. Prescription warning labels are intended to serve as quick reminders of the most important instructions for safe and effective drug use to prevent injuries from medications. They can include, for example, warnings against accompanying use of the medication with alcohol or driving.
The findings show that older patients do not always pay attention to drug warning labels. The results are worrisome, Bello said, because this population is reportedly at a greater risk for dangerous medication errors given their usually more complicated drug regimes relative to younger patients.
Researchers tracked study participants' eye movements over labels on a prescription drug vial to measure attention. The participants interacted with vials under a hypothetical scenario of just having been delivered prescription medications from the pharmacy.
In the study, the eye gaze of 50 percent of participants older than 50 years of age failed to notice a warning label on prescription vials. For 22 percent of these participants, their vision did not enter the warning label area in any of the five vials they interacted with. In contrast, 90 percent of young adults between ages 20 and 29 fixated on the warning labels.
This difference was partially attributed to the age-specific dynamic of visual fixation of information between the age groups, researchers said.
The data provided a compelling case that understanding consumers' attentive behavior and how to attract their attention is crucial to developing an effective labeling standard for prescription drugs, researchers said.
Collaborators include Michigan State University researchers Mark Becker and Laura Bix and Michigan State University graduate student Raghav Sundar. Research was partially funded through the Center for Food and Pharmaceutical Packaging Research at Michigan State University.
Nora Bello | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy