December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Do Visual Aids on Medication Packages Make Your Drug Use Safer?
Author Affiliations
  • Lea Laasner Vogt
    ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences
  • Swen J. Kühne
    ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences
  • Ester Reijnen
    ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3873. doi:
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      Lea Laasner Vogt, Swen J. Kühne, Ester Reijnen; Do Visual Aids on Medication Packages Make Your Drug Use Safer?. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3873.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Visual aids, so-called medical pictograms, on package inserts (PI) improve their understanding and thus medication adherence. The question is whether their placement on medication packages also has benefits, such as helping people take the correct dose? This assumes that a person in the given situation (he has a headache but still must drive) can distinguish between pictograms that are relevant (do not drive) or irrelevant (do not take during pregnancy). Thus, the 359 participants in this online study were presented with three different scenarios (alcohol, driving and pregnancy). In addition, 3 pictograms could be presented, one of which, either in first or second place, was relevant (relevant conditions) or all of which were irrelevant (irrelevant conditions; also includes the condition without pictograms). In each scenario participants had to decide, for example, whether to consult the PI first or to choose the dose right away (1, ½, ¼ or 0). The correct dose was always zero. We observed a significant interaction between scenario and pictogram conditions regarding PI consultations (p < .001). In other words, while there was no difference between conditions in terms of PI consultations in the alcohol scenario, the PI was consulted more frequently in the irrelevant conditions than in the relevant conditions in the driving and pregnancy scenario, with the difference being more pronounced in the pregnancy scenario. There was also an overall effect of conditions (relevant, irrelevant) on the dose selected (p < .001), with, for example, the correct dose being selected more often in the relevant conditions (p < .001) than in the irrelevant conditions. Hence, assuming that the situation is correctly analyzed, pictograms on medication packages actually make people’s drug use safer. The question is whether we always provide or can provide the cognitive resources needed for this in our everyday lives?


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