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      Differences in Memory, Perceptions, and Preferences of Multimedia Consumer Medication Information: Experimental Performance and Self-Report Study


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          Electronic health resources are becoming prevalent. However, consumer medication information (CMI) is still predominantly text based. Incorporating multimedia into CMI (eg, images, narration) may improve consumers’ memory of the information as well as their perceptions and preferences of these materials.


          This study examined whether adding images and narration to CMI impacted patients’ (1) memory, (2) perceptions of comprehensibility, utility, or design quality, and (3) overall preferences.


          We presented 36 participants with CMI in 3 formats: (1) text, (2) text + images, and (3) narration + images, and subsequently asked them to recall information. After seeing all 3 CMI formats, participants rated the formats in terms of comprehensibility, utility, and design quality, and ranked them from most to least favorite.


          Interestingly, no significant differences in memory were observed ( F 2,70=0.1, P=0.901). Thus, this study did not find evidence to support multimedia or modality principles in the context of CMI. Despite the absence of effects on memory, the CMI format significantly impacted perceptions of the materials. Specifically, participants rated the text + images format highest in terms of comprehensibility (χ 2 2=26.5, P<.001) and design quality (χ 2 2=35.69, P<.001). Although the omnibus test suggested a difference in utility ratings as well (χ 2 2=8.21, P=.016), no significant differences were found after correcting for multiple comparisons. Consistent with perception findings, the preference ranks yielded a significant difference (χ 2 2=26.00, P<.001), whereby participants preferred the text + images format overall. Indeed, 75% (27/36) of participants chose the text + images format as their most favorite. Thus, although there were no objective memory differences between the formats, we observed subjective differences in comprehensibility, design quality, and overall preferences.


          This study revealed that although multimedia did not appear to influence memory of CMI, it did impact participants’ opinions about the materials. The lack of observed differences in memory may have been due to ceiling effects, memory rather than understanding as an index of learning, the fragmented nature of the information in CMI itself, or the size or characteristics of the sample (ie, young, educated subjects with adequate health literacy skills). The differences in the subjective (ie, perceptions and preferences) and objective (ie, memory) results highlight the value of using both types of measures. Moreover, findings from this study could be used to inform future research on how CMI could be designed to better suit the preferences of consumers and potentially increase the likelihood that CMI is used. Additional research is warranted to explore whether multimedia impacts memory of CMI under different conditions (eg, older participants, subjects with lower levels of health literacy, more difficult stimuli, or extended time for decay).

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          eHEALS: The eHealth Literacy Scale

          Background Electronic health resources are helpful only when people are able to use them, yet there remain few tools available to assess consumers’ capacity for engaging in eHealth. Over 40% of US and Canadian adults have low basic literacy levels, suggesting that eHealth resources are likely to be inaccessible to large segments of the population. Using information technology for health requires eHealth literacy—the ability to read, use computers, search for information, understand health information, and put it into context. The eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) was designed (1) to assess consumers’ perceived skills at using information technology for health and (2) to aid in determining the fit between eHealth programs and consumers. Objectives The eHEALS is an 8-item measure of eHealth literacy developed to measure consumers’ combined knowledge, comfort, and perceived skills at finding, evaluating, and applying electronic health information to health problems. The objective of the study was to psychometrically evaluate the properties of the eHEALS within a population context. A youth population was chosen as the focus for the initial development primarily because they have high levels of eHealth use and familiarity with information technology tools. Methods Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention, and 3- and 6-month follow-up using control group data as part of a single session, randomized intervention trial evaluating Web-based eHealth programs. Scale reliability was tested using item analysis for internal consistency (coefficient alpha) and test-retest reliability estimates. Principal components factor analysis was used to determine the theoretical fit of the measures with the data. Results A total of 664 participants (370 boys; 294 girls) aged 13 to 21 (mean = 14.95; SD = 1.24) completed the eHEALS at four time points over 6 months. Item analysis was performed on the 8-item scale at baseline, producing a tight fitting scale with α = .88. Item-scale correlations ranged from r = .51 to .76. Test-retest reliability showed modest stability over time from baseline to 6-month follow-up (r = .68 to .40). Principal components analysis produced a single factor solution (56% of variance). Factor loadings ranged from .60 to .84 among the 8 items. Conclusions The eHEALS reliably and consistently captures the eHealth literacy concept in repeated administrations, showing promise as tool for assessing consumer comfort and skill in using information technology for health. Within a clinical environment, the eHEALS has the potential to serve as a means of identifying those who may or may not benefit from referrals to an eHealth intervention or resource. Further research needs to examine the applicability of the eHEALS to other populations and settings while exploring the relationship between eHealth literacy and health care outcomes.
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            eHealth Literacy: Essential Skills for Consumer Health in a Networked World

            Electronic health tools provide little value if the intended users lack the skills to effectively engage them. With nearly half the adult population in the United States and Canada having literacy levels below what is needed to fully engage in an information-rich society, the implications for using information technology to promote health and aid in health care, or for eHealth, are considerable. Engaging with eHealth requires a skill set, or literacy, of its own. The concept of eHealth literacy is introduced and defined as the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem. In this paper, a model of eHealth literacy is introduced, comprised of multiple literacy types, including an outline of a set of fundamental skills consumers require to derive direct benefits from eHealth. A profile of each literacy type with examples of the problems patient-clients might present is provided along with a resource list to aid health practitioners in supporting literacy improvement with their patient-clients across each domain. Facets of the model are illustrated through a set of clinical cases to demonstrate how health practitioners can address eHealth literacy issues in clinical or public health practice. Potential future applications of the model are discussed.
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              Quick assessment of literacy in primary care: the newest vital sign.

              Current health literacy screening instruments for health care settings are either too long for routine use or available only in English. Our objective was to develop a quick and accurate screening test for limited literacy available in English and Spanish. We administered candidate items for the new instrument and also the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults (TOFHLA) to English-speaking and Spanish-speaking primary care patients. We measured internal consistency with Cronbach's alpha and assessed criterion validity by measuring correlations with TOFHLA scores. Using TOFLHA scores 0.76 in English and 0.69 in Spanish) and correlates with the TOFHLA. Area under the ROC curve is 0.88 for English and 0.72 for Spanish versions. Patients with more than 4 correct responses are unlikely to have low literacy, whereas fewer than 4 correct answers indicate the possibility of limited literacy. NVS is suitable for use as a quick screening test for limited literacy in primary health care settings.

                Author and article information

                JMIR Hum Factors
                JMIR Hum Factors
                JMIR Human Factors
                JMIR Human Factors
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                Oct-Dec 2020
                1 December 2020
                : 7
                : 4
                [1 ] School of Health Information Science University of Victoria Victoria, BC Canada
                [2 ] School of Nursing University of Victoria Victoria, BC Canada
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Helen Monkman monkman@ 123456uvic.ca
                ©Helen Monkman, Andre W Kushniruk, Elizabeth M Borycki, Debra J Sheets, Jeffrey Barnett. Originally published in JMIR Human Factors (http://humanfactors.jmir.org), 01.12.2020.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Human Factors, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://humanfactors.jmir.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                Original Paper
                Original Paper

                consumer medication information,medication guides,patient medication information,prescription drug information leaflet,patient information leaflets,multimedia learning,health literacy,ehealth literacy,consumer health informatics,cognitive theory of multimedia learning


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