Publication Date

October 2020



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Introduction: Low medication literacy can lead to prescription non-adherence and medical errors. The goal of this study was to create an easy-to-use comprehensive medication literacy assessment tool to aid in identification of patients with trouble reading and interpreting medication labels in the primary care setting. The secondary goal was to evaluate the role of primary language and education level on medication literacy and determine if patient reported difficulty with reading labels correlated with a lower medication literacy. Methods: Forty-two patients of the Cooper Rowan Clinic, a student-run free clinic, were given a demographic survey and 7-item questionnaire based on a standard prescription label. The study was limited to patients over the age of 16 who were able to read in either English or Spanish. Results: A significant difference was noted in average scores between the English and Spanish-speaking groups. In addition, a positive correlation was found between education level and assessment scores. The assessment scores of participants who self-reported having trouble reading their label were lower but not significantly different from those who did not report difficulty reading a label. Conclusions: The assessment was easily administered in a student-run clinic and could be used for medication literacy evaluation and quality improvement in other clinics. This tool also shows that primary language and education play a role in the ability to interpret labels. Further testing could be performed to establish the validity of the assessment with longer, well-established health literacy tests.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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