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What do laypeople consider ‘medication’ and are they aware of modulators of a drug's effects?
  1. Alexander F J Send1,2,
  2. Janina A Bittmann1,2,
  3. Gerhard Dyckhoff3,
  4. Walter E Haefeli1,2,
  5. Hanna M Seidling1,2
  1. 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  2. 2Cooperation Unit Clinical Pharmacy, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  3. 3Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hanna M Seidling, Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmacoepidemiology, Cooperation Unit Clinical Pharmacy, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 410, Heidelberg 69120, Germany; hanna.seidling{at}med.uni-heidelberg.de

Abstract

Objectives Healthcare providers expect patients to be responsible partners during drug treatment, who know potential risks impeding drug effects and are able to accurately report prescribed and non-prescribed medication. This presumes that they have the same understanding of the term ‘medication’ as healthcare providers. We assessed which products laypeople label as medication and which modulators of drug effects they know.

Methods People visiting the otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic at a university hospital were invited to anonymously complete a questionnaire assessing which products out of 23 listed examples are medications and valuing 12 modulators potentially influencing drug effects.

Results Among 94 participants, 86 (91.5%) identified on average 14.4±3.3 (62.6%) of the products and 79 (84.0%) identified 6.7±2.0 (55.5%) of the modulators correctly. Women performed better than men (p<0.01). Regular medication intake, education level and age did not influence the results.

Conclusions Laypeople are at risk of misclassifying medications and modulators of drug effects.

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