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Examining preference of elderly for adding indication to the prescription label (Rx Label)

Prashant Sakharkar, Amir Zargarzadeh, Anandi Law


Rationale and aim To examine preference of the elderly for adding indication (medication use/purpose) to prescription label, reasons for their preference and its association with demographic characteristics.

Methods A convenience sample of 143 patients of age 65 or older, who took at least one prescription medication every day were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed for descriptive statistics, correlation for demographic characteristics with participant’s preference for adding indication to prescription label using the Chi-square and Fisher’s exact test. Regression analysis was conducted to predict participant’s preference.   

Results Participants were ethnically diverse, majority being female (60.8%), with average age of 76.9 yrs. Twenty nine percent participants had more than high school education. About 91% participants preferred adding indications to their prescription label for the reasons: “managing medication by category” (29%), “distinguishing medications” (69%), and “reducing confusion” (29%). Adult daycare centers and community pharmacy participants with lower than high school education showed higher preference for adding indication for reducing confusion and distinguishing medication, respectively. Whereas, Hispanic/Latino participants of adult daycare centers preferred for the reason, distinguishing medications (p<0.05). Age, race/ethnicity and education were found to be good predictors of their preference.

Conclusion The elderly showed higher preference for adding indication to the prescription label for improving their ability to distinguish medications and reduce confusion. Our results suggest a need for adopting recently released USP patient-centered prescription label standards, which also include adding indication to the Rx labels. 

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