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ERIC Number: EJ849491
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0145-482X
Methods of Reading Information on Labels of Prescription Medications by Persons Who Are Visually Impaired
McMahon, John M.; Curtis, Amy
Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, v103 n5 p303-308 May 2009
The prevalence of visual impairment (that is, blindness and low vision) is increasing in the United States, especially in persons aged 65 and older, with more than half of all people who are blind in this age demographic. It has been estimated that about 6.5 million Americans aged 55 and older report vision loss, and this number is expected to double by 2030. Furthermore, the use of prescription medications will rise because persons who are older also tend to use more prescription medications, with more than 40% of older persons taking at least five different prescription drugs. Because of these factors, it is important to determine if, and how, these individuals are reading the labels of their prescription medications. The lack of access to the printed information related to medication can be a barrier for a person who is visually impaired to manage his or her prescriptions and health information optimally. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act mandate that the print information commonly used by sighted persons (referred to as "effective communication") must be accessible to those who cannot access the information in the typical manner. In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (2002) requires protected health information to be made available in print and other accessible media. These print-accessibility mandates, combined with the increasing number of persons who are elderly and visually impaired and the greater risk of being ill or hospitalized because of adverse medication outcomes, make it important to determine what, if any, accessibility issues exist for this population. This article reports a survey addressing how often, and using what methods, persons who are visually impaired access or independently read the labels on their prescription medications. (Contains 1 table and 3 figures.)
American Foundation for the Blind. 11 Penn Plaza Suite 300, New York, NY 10001. Tel: 800-232-5463; Tel: 212-502-7600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A