Comparison of consumer-oriented books on medications

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3 Scopus citations


Consumers increasingly want to be informed about the processes involved in their own health care. Health professionals may be called upon to recommend appropriate consumer-oriented sources of information. To assist the health professional in making a rational recommendation, 15 currently available consumer-oriented books on prescription medications were compared with respect to readability, number of drugs covered, completeness of drug monograph information, price, and other factors. Mean readability scores, reported as a reading grade level, ranged from 9.2 to 14.3. The number of drugs covered by these books ranged from 135 to 1,200. Monograph completeness scores were assigned by determining the percentage of information from a standard reference's drug monograph covered in each book. The lowest percentage completeness score was 21.4%, while the highest was 76.7%. Prices for the books ranged from $2.50 to $19.95. Regardless of the relative priorities placed on these factors, a consumer or health professional may use the objective and descriptive assessments of this study to make an informed decision when choosing among consumer-oriented sources of medication information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-117
Number of pages11
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


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