Evaluation of patient comprehension and quality of consumer medicine information

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Supawinee Pongpunna
Kamonphat Wongtaweepkij https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2602-9701
Thongchai Pratipanawatr https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5480-6822
Narumol Jarernsiripornkul https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5591-9565


Consumer Health Information, Assessment, Patient Safety


Background: Consumer medicine information (CMI) is voluntarily produced by pharmaceutical manufacturers in Thailand, but quality assessment of Thai- CMI is not routinely performed. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the content and design quality of CMI available in Thailand and assess patient understanding of the medicine information provided. Methods: A cross-sectional study that consisted of two phases. Phase 1 was expert assessment of CMI using 15-item content checklists. Phase 2 was patient assessment of CMI by user-testing and the Consumer Information Rating Form. Participants (n=130) were outpatients aged 18 years or older with an educational level of less than grade 12. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to patients at two university-affiliated hospitals in Thailand. Results: A total of 60 CMI produced by 13 Thai pharmaceutical manufacturers were included in the study. Most of the CMI contained essential information about the medicines, but lacked information about serious adverse effects, maximum dose, warnings, and use in specific patient groups. Of 13 CMI selected for user-testing, none met the passing criteria with only 40.8% – 70.0% of answers found in the correct position and answered correctly. The mean values of patients’ rating the CMI were between 2.5 (SD=0.8) and 3.7 (SD=0.5) for utility on a 4-point scale, and 2.3 (SD=0.7) to 4.0 (SD=0.8) for comprehensibility and 2.0 (SD=1.2) to 4.9 (SD=0.3) for design quality on a 5-point scale. Eight CMI were rated as poor (less than 3.0) for font size. Conclusion: More safety information about medications should be included in Thai CMI and the design quality must be improved. CMI needs to be evaluated before distribution to consumers.

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