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Quantifying age-related differences in information processing behaviors when viewing prescription drug labels.

Sundar RP, Becker MW, Bello NM, Bix L - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: During viewing, participants often failed to attend to the PWLs; this effect was more pronounced for older than younger participants.However, when memory performance was conditionalized on whether or not the participant had fixated the PWL, these age-related differences in memory were no longer significant, suggesting that the difference in memory performance between groups was attributable to differences in attention rather than differences in memory encoding or recall.These data provide a compelling case that understanding consumers' attentive behavior is crucial to developing an effective labeling standard for prescription drugs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a significant problem in health care. While effective warnings have the potential to reduce the prevalence of ADEs, little is known about how patients access and use prescription labeling. We investigated the effectiveness of prescription warning labels (PWLs, small, colorful stickers applied at the pharmacy) in conveying warning information to two groups of patients (young adults and those 50+). We evaluated the early stages of information processing by tracking eye movements while participants interacted with prescription vials that had PWLs affixed to them. We later tested participants' recognition memory for the PWLs. During viewing, participants often failed to attend to the PWLs; this effect was more pronounced for older than younger participants. Older participants also performed worse on the subsequent memory test. However, when memory performance was conditionalized on whether or not the participant had fixated the PWL, these age-related differences in memory were no longer significant, suggesting that the difference in memory performance between groups was attributable to differences in attention rather than differences in memory encoding or recall. This is important because older adults are recognized to be at greater risk for ADEs. These data provide a compelling case that understanding consumers' attentive behavior is crucial to developing an effective labeling standard for prescription drugs.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Least Square Mean Estimates of the number of gaze shifts into a label zone by age and estimated standard errors (whiskers).
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pone-0038819-g003: Least Square Mean Estimates of the number of gaze shifts into a label zone by age and estimated standard errors (whiskers).

Mentions: A significant main effect of age group was also evident (P = 0.0010), with the younger group making more total shifts (0.85±0.09) than older participants (0.47±.06). This finding suggests that young participants implement a more dynamic attentional search comprised of more shifts of attention to different label zones. By contrast, older viewers tend to implement a more stationary process in which attention tends to shift zones infrequently (see Figure 3).


Quantifying age-related differences in information processing behaviors when viewing prescription drug labels.

Sundar RP, Becker MW, Bello NM, Bix L - PLoS ONE (2012)

Least Square Mean Estimates of the number of gaze shifts into a label zone by age and estimated standard errors (whiskers).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3375290&req=5

pone-0038819-g003: Least Square Mean Estimates of the number of gaze shifts into a label zone by age and estimated standard errors (whiskers).
Mentions: A significant main effect of age group was also evident (P = 0.0010), with the younger group making more total shifts (0.85±0.09) than older participants (0.47±.06). This finding suggests that young participants implement a more dynamic attentional search comprised of more shifts of attention to different label zones. By contrast, older viewers tend to implement a more stationary process in which attention tends to shift zones infrequently (see Figure 3).

Bottom Line: During viewing, participants often failed to attend to the PWLs; this effect was more pronounced for older than younger participants.However, when memory performance was conditionalized on whether or not the participant had fixated the PWL, these age-related differences in memory were no longer significant, suggesting that the difference in memory performance between groups was attributable to differences in attention rather than differences in memory encoding or recall.These data provide a compelling case that understanding consumers' attentive behavior is crucial to developing an effective labeling standard for prescription drugs.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Adverse drug events (ADEs) are a significant problem in health care. While effective warnings have the potential to reduce the prevalence of ADEs, little is known about how patients access and use prescription labeling. We investigated the effectiveness of prescription warning labels (PWLs, small, colorful stickers applied at the pharmacy) in conveying warning information to two groups of patients (young adults and those 50+). We evaluated the early stages of information processing by tracking eye movements while participants interacted with prescription vials that had PWLs affixed to them. We later tested participants' recognition memory for the PWLs. During viewing, participants often failed to attend to the PWLs; this effect was more pronounced for older than younger participants. Older participants also performed worse on the subsequent memory test. However, when memory performance was conditionalized on whether or not the participant had fixated the PWL, these age-related differences in memory were no longer significant, suggesting that the difference in memory performance between groups was attributable to differences in attention rather than differences in memory encoding or recall. This is important because older adults are recognized to be at greater risk for ADEs. These data provide a compelling case that understanding consumers' attentive behavior is crucial to developing an effective labeling standard for prescription drugs.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus