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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

Experimental set up (chin rest, calibrated plane and the head-mounted optics of our ASL 501 eye tracking unit).
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pone-0038819-g005: Experimental set up (chin rest, calibrated plane and the head-mounted optics of our ASL 501 eye tracking unit).

Mentions: An Applied Science Laboratories (ASL - Boston, MA) Model 501® Head Mounted Optics bright-pupil eye tracker was used to track the gaze trail of subjects as they examined the prescription vials. Eye tracking data was collected in the form of video files and analyzed using Gaze Tracker® Eye Tracking analysis software. During analysis, each vial was coded into three distinct “zones:" the white pharmacy label, the PWL, and the upper surface of the white cap (see Figure 1b). Subjects were seated at a special table fixtured with a pane of a glass and a chin rest (see Figure 5). This setup allowed subjects to examine packages at a fixed distance from their eyes, minimizing parallax error and enhancing accuracy of the tracking of the gaze trail on the package surface, providing insight into the attentive behavior of the subject.


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

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

Experimental set up (chin rest, calibrated plane and the head-mounted optics of our ASL 501 eye tracking unit).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone-0038819-g005: Experimental set up (chin rest, calibrated plane and the head-mounted optics of our ASL 501 eye tracking unit).
Mentions: An Applied Science Laboratories (ASL - Boston, MA) Model 501® Head Mounted Optics bright-pupil eye tracker was used to track the gaze trail of subjects as they examined the prescription vials. Eye tracking data was collected in the form of video files and analyzed using Gaze Tracker® Eye Tracking analysis software. During analysis, each vial was coded into three distinct “zones:" the white pharmacy label, the PWL, and the upper surface of the white cap (see Figure 1b). Subjects were seated at a special table fixtured with a pane of a glass and a chin rest (see Figure 5). This setup allowed subjects to examine packages at a fixed distance from their eyes, minimizing parallax error and enhancing accuracy of the tracking of the gaze trail on the package surface, providing insight into the attentive behavior of the subject.

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