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      Experiences and Views of Medicine Information Among the General Public in Thailand

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          Written and electronic medicine information are important for improving patient knowledge and safe use of medicines. Written medicine information in Thailand is mostly in the form of printed package inserts (PIs), designed for health professionals, with few medicines having patient information leaflets (PILs). The aim of this study was to determine practices, needs and expectations of Thai general public about written and electronic medicine information and attitudes towards PILs.

          Patients and Methods

          Cross-sectional survey, using self-completed questionnaires, was distributed directly to members of the general public in a large city, during January to March 2019. It explored experiences of using information, expectations, needs and attitudes, the latter measured using a 10-item scale. Differences between sub-groups were assessed, applying the Bonferroni correction to determine statistical significance.


          Of the total 851 questionnaires distributed, 550 were returned (64.2%). The majority of respondents (88%) had received PIs, but only a quarter (26.2%) had received PILs. Most respondents (78.5%) had seen medicine information in online form. High educational level and income increased the likelihood of receiving PILs and electronic information. The majority of respondents (88.5%) perceived PILs as useful, but 70% considered they would still need information about medicines from health professionals. Indication, drug name and precautions were the most frequently read information in PIs and perceived as needed in PILs. Three-quarters of respondents would read electronic information if it were available, with more who had received a PIL having previously searched for such information compared to those who had not. All respondents had positive overall attitudes towards PILs.


          Experiences of receiving PILs and electronic medicine information in Thailand are relatively limited. However, the general public considered PILs as a useful source of medicine information. Electronic medicine information was desired and should be developed to be an additional source of information for consumers.

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          Most cited references 38

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          A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative research on the role and effectiveness of written information available to patients about individual medicines

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            We are the experts: people with asthma talk about their medicine information needs.

            People with chronic illness are being encouraged to become more involved in their care. For this, they need to be well informed about their medicines, and more written medicines information is becoming available. However, there is little data about its effectiveness and impact. This study examined the patient perspective of medicines information through focus groups of people with asthma. Most participants actively sought medicines information from a variety of professional and lay sources. There were some positive experiences but many examples of partial or total information failure. Individualised information was valued and medicine leaflets were generally seen as less helpful than face-to-face advice. Some felt strongly that patients with long experience should be involved in the development of medicine information leaflets. We conclude that medicine information leaflets do not currently meet the needs of users and that people who take medicines should be involved in their development and testing.
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              Factors influencing consumer use of written drug information.

              To provide an overview of the use and impact of written drug information (WDI) on consumers, and to review the literature on the factors influencing the use of WDI by consumers. Relevant articles published in English since the late 1970s were identified based on searches of on-line databases, texts, and cited references in published articles. Articles reporting findings on the origin, use, and impact of WDI were included. Due to limited literature, articles reporting findings on factors influencing the use of written drug as well as disease information were included. Due to the lack of design consistency between studies and the comparatively small volume of work, subjective assessment rather than a criteria-based objective review was deemed more appropriate. To date, research on WDI has focused on its use and impact. WDI has the potential to increase patients' knowledge, compliance, and satisfaction. However, there is also the potential for anxiety or premature cessation of therapy due to fear of possible adverse effects. Multiple factors may potentially influence the use of WDI by consumers including those associated with the written information document (readability, presentation), the patient (health literacy, role of caregiver, demographic factors, health locus of control, coping style, health belief model), and the environment (timing of provision, experience). WDI has the potential to impact consumers positively and negatively. Although not widely investigated, a number of factors can potentially influence the use of WDI by consumers. The findings of this review can form the basis for much needed further research.

                Author and article information

                Patient Prefer Adherence
                Patient Prefer Adherence
                Patient preference and adherence
                30 June 2020
                : 14
                : 1073-1082
                [1 ]Division of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Khon Kaen University , Khon Kaen, Thailand
                [2 ]Medway School of Pharmacy, Universities of Greenwich and Kent , Kent, UK
                [3 ]Pharmacy Practice and Management Research Unit, Division of Pharmaceutical Care, Faculty of Pharmacy, Rangsit Center, Thammasat University , Pathumthani, Thailand
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Narumol Jarernsiripornkul Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Khon Kaen University , Khon Kaen40002, ThailandTel +66-4334-8353Fax +66-4320-2379 Email narumol@kku.ac.th
                © 2020 Wongtaweepkij et al.

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                Page count
                Tables: 5, References: 43, Pages: 10
                Original Research


                medicine information, general public, practices, attitudes, need and expectations


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