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What do laypeople consider ‘medication’ and are they aware of modulators of a drug’s effects?


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.

  • EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)

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