Journal Article

Misunderstanding of prescription drug warning labels among patients with low literacy.

Wolf MS, Davis TC, Tilson HH, et al. American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2006;63:1048-55.

This study discovered that multi-step instructions, difficult text, the use of icons and colors, and lack of message clarity all contributed to poor understanding of drug warnings among low-literacy patients. Investigators conducted structured interviews with more than 70 patients reading at or below the 6th-grade level and asked for their interpretations of commonly used warning labels on prescription medications. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for medication safety and recommend improvements aimed at standardizing the process.