Designing medication instructions for older adults

Daniel Morrow, Von Leirer, Jill Andrassy

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We examined if medication instructions were better remembered when organized in terms of older adults' pre-existing schemes for taking medication. A preliminary study suggested that older adults share a general scheme with medication information grouped into 3 categories: (a) General Information (e.g., medication purpose), (b) How to take (dose), and (c) Possible Outcomes (side-effects). In the present study, we investigated age differences in this scheme and in instruction recall. We also examined if individual differences in organization related to cognitive abilities, health care beliefs, and medication taking experience. For the most part, the results provided further evidence that older adults share a scheme for taking medication and revealed few age differences in this organization. Verbal ability was more important than health attitudes for predicting individual differences in instruction organization. Most important, older and younger subjects preferred and better remembered instructions that were organized in terms of their medication taking scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society - Seattle, WA, USA
Duration: Oct 11 1993Oct 15 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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