• Survey of Patient’s Knowledge of OTC Analgesics

      Slack, Marion; Kaz, Ron; Zuhl, Stephanie; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2007)
      Objectives: The main objective of this study was to determine if there was a link between the amount of OTC medications consumed and the knowledge of these products. With approximately 100,000 OTC products are available to the consumer this study focused on the most common class sold over the counter, analgesics. This study also determined if there was a correlation between the elderly and their frequency and knowledge of these products. Specific demographic characteristics including gender and education level were also evaluated to determine if these factors had an impact. Methods: A 21 question survey on OTC analgesics was distributed to retail pharmacy customers. It consisted of questions on amount of OTC analgesics regularly consumed, general knowledge of these products, and basic demographic questions. The initial questions assessed the amount of OTC analgesic regularly consumed by the participant. The remaining questions were designed to determine the participant’s knowledge of these products. They were either multiple choice or true false questions covering basic information on OTC analgesics Results: It was found there was no correlation between the amount of OTC analgesics consumed and the knowledge of these products. A person who consumed analgesics on a regular basis was not significantly more knowledgable about these products then a person who had never taken them. There was also no link between age and amount of OTC analgesics taken or knowledge of these products. It was found that women have more knowledge of OTC analgesics then men. Females answered an average 63.6% of the survey questions correct, compared to males who answered 51.8% correct. This project also demonstrated there was a correlation between the amount of the participant’s education level and their knowledge of OTC analgesics. Participants who had a high school education or less, answered 53.6% of the questions correct, and those who had a college degree or post graduate answered 73.5% correct. Conclusions: Although OTC analgesics don’t require a prescription, it is still important to counsel patients taking these medications. This should be considered a necessary part of the job of a pharmacist to ensure the general population has adequate knowledge of these products and is taking them safely. These products can offer a significant benefit and improve a person’s quality of life when utilized correctly. Providing patient education can ensure this can be done.