ERIC Number: ED220902
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Rx for OTC Users: Improved Health Education.
Shands, Virginia P.; And Others
A self-administered survey was given to 152 college students to test their knowledge and understanding of some basic health facts and terminology commonly found in printed materials affixed to or accompanying common over-the-counter (OTC) drug preparations. The results indicated that 96% of the sample had used OTC medications as college students. The students named approximately 131 different products by brand name. One exception was aspirin, which was indicated as either aspirin or by trade name. Some mistook prescription drugs, such as Valium, for OTC products. A number of questions asked students either to supply or to recognize an acceptable interpretation of terms commonly found on OTC product labels, such as "prolonged use,""sodium restricted diet," and"antihypertensives." While the majority gave acceptable answers, some gave responses indicating that they did not understand the terms. When asked to name the source of information about OTC products, only 6% named health professionals, while most named the media and family as sources. Although most reported choosing their medications based solely upon their own knowledge or the advice of nonprofessionals, 8% admitted taking OTC medications either without reading any of the directions, warnings, or cautions, or reading only for the dosage amount. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Direction Following; Nonprescription Drugs
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Boston, MA, May 2-5, 1982).