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Connecting Pharmacy and Literacy: The North Carolina Medication Information Literacy Project (Galley)

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Julienne K. Kirk, Stacie Krick, Debra Futrell, Teresa Devora, Stephen M. Caiola, Elaine Mason, William T. Sawyer, and Peter Gal


American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Vol. 64, No. 3 (2000)
DOI: aj640309.pdf




American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


The purpose of this study was to involve pharmacy students in a project designed to evaluate the comprehension of consumer-directed, over the counter (OTC) medication information. This project was conducted statewide in North Carolina and was coordinated through an alliance of the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program. Two other goals of this project were to expose pharmacy students to research and provide collaborative experience for AHEC-based faculty. The project was implemented over a three-month period during the fall of 1998 and included completion of patient comprehension surveys. Each study participant read an example of OTC patient instructions. Afterwards, students asked questions directly related to the OTC information. Surveys of 878 participants were completed. A comprehension score was calculated based on eleven questions obtained from the participant response form. Comprehension scores ranged between 6.7 and 8.4 using a scale that was based on the eleven questions worth one point each. Students were also asked to provide feedback by survey regarding how participant selection was conducted and a debriefing session allowed for discussion about project experience and improvement. This study indicates that OTC medication instructions are difficult to interpret for many consumers, that student participation in a community research project is a useful learning experience, and that geographically dispersed faculty can conduct collaborative research.

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