Improving Patient Medication Information through Better Design

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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Improving Patient Medication Information through Better Design

According to research findings recently published in Medical Care, redesigning the instructions that accompany prescribed medications increases patient comprehension, helping to ensure that drugs with serious side effects are used safely. Dr. Michael Wolf led the research study that tested the current U.S. Food and Drug Administration Medication Guide format against three alternative versions and discovered that all the new prototypes were better than the current standard. Of particular significance for the study, the version that followed health literacy best practices was of disproportionate benefit in aiding those with limited literacy skills. Dr. Wolf leads the Health Literacy and Learning Program (HeLP), which seeks to advance the study of limited health literacy and interventions that could improve one’s ability to obtain, process, and understand basic information needed to make appropriate health decisions.

All four tested versions of the FDA Medication Guides contained the same information, but different organization, layout and visual appeal. The Health Literacy version scored best, though all three alternatives were better than the standard.
All four tested versions of the FDA Medication Guides contained the same information, but different organization, layout and visual appeal. The Health Literacy version scored best, though all three alternatives were better than the standard.