Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds drug warning labels need overhaul to better capture attention, convey information

05.07.2012
Many patients seem to ignore prescription drug warning labels with instructions that are critical for safe and effective use, according to a study by a Kansas State University researcher working with scientists at Michigan State University.

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!
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>