Reported knowledge and practices towards the proper use of patient information leaflet among university students
Keywords:Health literacy, Iraq, Patient information leaflet, Practice, University student
Background: A patient information leaflet (PIL) is a valuable tool that can convey basic information about the disease conditions and the recommended medication enabling both the patients and the health care professional to get rapid, easy, and precise access to the treatment process.
Objective: To evaluate the level of knowledge and practices for appropriate and useful use of PIL among final-year medical and non-medical undergraduate university students in Baghdad, Iraq.
Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among final-year undergraduate university students with different academic disciplines, including medical (pharmacy, dentistry) and non-medical disciplines (law, media) in Baghdad, Iraq, using a structured questionnaire to evaluate the level of knowledge and practices towards the proper use of PIL.
Result: A total of 384 students enrolled in this study and the majority were medical students (59.1%). The proportion of non-medical students who read the PILs was lower than that of medical students (82.2% vs. 91.6%, p<0.0001). According to participants’ responses, 84.6% (p=0.03) of the medical students stated that reading PIL was useful for accurate medication use, while 60.5% of the non-medical students reported that the language of PIL was difficult to understand. Instructions for proper medication intake were significantly higher among the medical students (78%, p<0.0001).
Conclusion: An acceptable level of knowledge along with several different practices toward the proper use of PIL while taking medicines was reported among medical and non-medical undergraduate university students.
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