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!
New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19
21.07.2020 | University of California - San Diego
Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences