The effect of health media reporting on self-medication use
Canadian Pharmacists Conference ePoster Library. Kuo I. Jun 25, 2016; 132136
Disclosure(s): None to declare.
Dr. I Fan Kuo
Dr. I Fan Kuo
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Abstract
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OBJECTIVES: The news media serves the crucial role of conveying complex scientific findings and health issues to the general public. The main objectives of this study are 1) to describe the public's perception of health-related content in the news media and their dependence on the media in decision-making surrounding self-medication use, and 2) to examine potential factors, both individual and media-related that influence self-medication behaviour.,METHODS: Twenty-Nine adult volunteers participated in five focus group interviews that were conducted at the College of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Each 90 min interviews was moderated by a study coordinator, audio-recorded and transcribed. Two study team members independently analyzed the transcripts.,RESULTS: The general public expressed varying degree of uncertainty towards the reliability of health reporting in news media. Most felt overwhelmed and frustrated by the excess of sources in information, and the often mixed and transient messages in health news reports. Trusting relationship with a pharmacist or physician was identified as the most important factor in self-medication decision, but not all individuals had the access to health care providers due to a variety of reasons. Other influences on over-the-counter products use include education background, previous experience, upbringing, credentials of the sources, and the individual's social circle.,CONCLUSIONS: Decision-making surrounding the use of over-the-counter products is a complex process, often implicitly influenced by health news reporting in the media. Trusting interaction with health care providers, especially pharmacists is an important component in choosing non-prescription product use, but one that is not always readily accessible. Pharmacists are yet to maximize the opportunity in filling this health care gap.
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