Relationship of consumers' perceptions of drugs to drug use.
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Relationship of consumers' perceptions of drugs to drug use.

  • 1983 Jan-Feb

  • Source: Public Health Rep. 98(1):85-90
Filetype[PDF-1022.74 KB]

  • English

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      Public Health Rep
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      To examine consumers' perceptions of nonprescription and prescription drugs and the relationship of these perceptions to drug use, a sample of 200 adult residents of a northern midwestern area who were similar in age and education to the national population was surveyed. Respondents who rated nonprescription drugs as safe and somewhat effective used nearly 90 percent less nonprescription drugs than respondents rating these drugs as safe and ineffective. Respondents who rated prescription drugs as unsafe used approximately 60 percent less of them than respondents rating them as somewhat safe or safe. Data for the study were collected from March 15 to May 15, 1978. The respondents' perceptions of nonprescription and prescription drugs in respect to safety, efficacy, side effects, and overdose effects were measured on a thermometer scale, with anchors at three points (100 degrees for the most positive perception, 50 degrees for the midpoint, and 0 degrees for the most negative perception). Drug use, based on the respondents' recollections, was measured for 2 days before the interview. The respondents rated prescription drugs as safer and more effective than nonprescription drugs, but as having more dangerous overdose effects. Two-way analysis of variance showed that perceptions of the safety and effectiveness of nonprescription drugs and the interaction between these two variables were related to the use of these drugs. Perceptions of the safety of prescription drugs were related to their use.
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