245452 Are Consumers Engaging in Protective Behaviors against Medication Errors?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:05 PM

Julio Guerrero III, MS , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Ranjita Misra, PhD , Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Ledric Sherman, MA , Department of Health and Kinesiology/ Center for the Study Of Health Disparities, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Wura Aribisala , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Colby Day , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Christine Gastmyer , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Cheryl Kwiatkowski , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Zubaida Qamar , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Purpose: According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices report (2002), medication errors are widespread and the effects are adverse. Consumers can prevent medication errors by engaging in protective behaviors, but limited studies have assessed such behaviors. This observational study examined the consumer's role in medication error prevention.

Methodology: Researchers observed customers who approached walk-up counters at eight pharmacies in Bryan/College Station, Texas. Consumer protective behaviors (CPB) were evaluated as consumers who: 1) examined the receipt on the outside of the bag, 2) looked inside the bag, and 3) read the medication label. Descriptive and Chi-square analyses were used to evaluate differences in CPB by gender, race, age, accompanied status, and consumer wait time. A total of 647 consumers were observed over a three-month period.

Results: The majority of consumers were female (60.7%), White (68.5%), between 18-30 years of age (34.8%), and alone (79.4%). Only 29.7% engaged in at least one CPB; 28.4% read the receipt, 13.3% looked inside the bag, and 10.7% read the medication label. Significantly higher CPB was noted among Asians (2 =0.002), older customers (2 =0.013), and those who were accompanied (2 <0.001) but did not vary by gender or consumer wait time.

Conclusion: The results suggest the need for consumer education and public health campaigns to increase consumer awareness for improving safety practices. Future studies should focus on collecting more accurate consumer data as well as pharmacy-consumer communications.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
Step 1. Describe the consumer protective behaviors (CPB) against medication errors. Step 2. Identify the differences in CPB by gender, age, race, and accompanied status. Step 3. Compare differences in CPB by consumer wait time.

Keywords: Drug Safety, Adult Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student and have collaborated with expereinced professionals on projects pertaining to disease prevention.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.