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Journal of Adolescent Health. 2004; 35:399-401.We studied the relationship between reading nutrition labels and percent calorie intake from fat. In adolescent boys, reading nutrition labels was associated with higher fat intake. In girls, fat intake did not differ by frequency of nutrition label reading. Nutrition label reading does not translate into healthier diet in adolescents. (author's)
Drug Intelligence and Clinical Pharmacy. 1984 Sep; 18(9):730-5.The distribution of the patient package insert (PPI) by pharmacists is at best controversial. Although most health professionals agree that the patient has the right to receive information about drugs, they disagree on the best way to provide that information. Since the oral contraceptive (OC) PPI has been in routine use for approximately 10 years, a large data base exists that can be used to determine not only patient acceptance of the PPI, but also knowledge, feelings, and behavior secondary to the PPI. In this study, 50 women of childbearing age completed a questionnaire, and it was learned that 84% had taken or were currently taking OCs, and 90% of those received a PPI; however, only 61% of these women read all of it. The women performed poorly on the knowledge exam (mean +or- SD, 44.5 +or- 21.2, range 0-83%); those who read all of the PPI or who were white had higher scores (P0.02 and P0.001). 38% of the women thought that the PPI information was inadeqaute, suggesting that it needs to be rewritten and/or supplemented with information from pharmacists. After reading the PPI, 12% contacted their pharmacist for additional information. Pharmacists are in a unique position to provide OC information that enables women to make informed judgments regarding benefit: risk ratios on a personal basis. (author's)
Military Medicine. 1983 Mar; 148(3):276-8.A study was conducted in a 60-bed military hospital in Fort Eustis, Virginia to determine the following: do women read the oral contraceptive (OC) patient package insert; what is the ability of women to actively recall information concerning proper use of OCs; and is there a difference in the level of understanding of OCs perceived by women and the actual proper instructions which should be followed. Outpatients receiving OCs are provided a 90-day supply from the pharmacy. The study was conducted for 1 calendar month. All women presenting new or refill requests for OCs at the outpatient section of pharmacy services were eligible for inclusion in the study. It is an outpatient pharmacy dispensing policy to require a new prescription after 3 refills or 12 months after the date of issue for OCs. Only 21-day packs are stocked; therefore, all patients' regimens consist of the 3 weeks on and 1 week off dosing schedule. The data for the study were obtained through the use of a patient questionnaire. The patients completed the questionnaire in the prescription waiting area of the outpatient clinic. Upon receipt of the OC prescription, the patient returned the completed questionnaire to the pharmacist. Only 57% of the study population of 81 could recall the name of their OC. Of the 81 patients surveyed, 89% stated that they had read the patient package insert which was included with their 1st pill pack, but only 31% said they read it each time they received a new pack. 25% said that they did not fully understand the package insert. 35% responded that they would seek additional explanations from health professionals, primarily the physician (21%). 73% of the patients indicated that they took their pill at the same time daily, while 27% indicated that they did not. This is of no partilar significance, but it is felt that a uniform dosage regimen will establish a routine which would reduce the risk of error. 70% of the study population had, at some time, forgotten to take a pill. 88% knew the correct step to take if they only missed 1 pill. If 2 pills were missed, only 16% knew the correct method to catch up. 26% knew to stop their pack if 3 pills were missed. 38% knew to continue their pills as usual in the absence of 1 menstrual period. 86% were correct in suspecting pregnancy and seeing their physician with the absence of 2 periods. 15% of the study population felt incorrectly that they needed additional birth control measures between pill packs. In sum, it should not be taken for granted that the OC patient understands how to properly take her pills. The pharmacist can clarify and reinforce physician instructions.
San Francisco, San Francisco Press, 1974. 292 p.Despite its high effectiveness, lack of side effects, ease of use, and low cost, condom utilization has declined in the U.S. from 30% of contracepting couples in 1955 to 15% in 1970. The present status of the condom, actions needed to facilitate its increased availability and acceptance, and research required to improve understanding of factors affecting its use are reviewed in the proceedings of a conference on the condom sponsored by the Battelle Population Study Center in 1973. It is concluded that condom use in the U.S. is not meeting its potential. Factors affecting its underutilization include negative attitudes among the medical and family planning professions; state laws restricting sales outlets, display, and advertising; inapplicable testing standards; the National Association of Broadcasters' ban on contraceptive advertising; media's reluctance to carry condom ads; manufacturer's hesitancy to widen the range of products and use aggressive marketing techniques; and physical properties of the condom itself. Further, the condom has an image problem, tending to be associated with venereal disease and prostitution and regarded as a hassle to use and an impediment to sexual sensation. Innovative, broad-based marketing and sales through a variety of outlets have been key to effective widespread condom usage in England, Japan, and Sweden. Such campaigns could be directed toward couples who cannot or will not use other methods and teenagers whose unplanned, sporadic sexual activity lends itself to condom use. Other means of increasing U.S. condom utilization include repealing state and local laws restricting condom sales to pharmacies and limiting open display; removing the ban on contraceptive advertising and changing the attitude of the media; using educational programs to correct erroneous images; and developing support for condom distribution in family planning programs. Also possible is modifying the extreme stringency of condom standards. Thinner condoms could increase usage without significantly affecting failure rates. More research is needed on condom use-effectiveness in potential user populations and in preventing venereal disease transmission; the effects of condom shape, thickness, and lubrication on consumer acceptance; reactions to condom advertising; and the point at which an acceptable level of utilization has been achieved.