The purpose of this study was to determine if increasing the scope and depth of information for written prescription drug information results in information overload. Scope (number of topics) and depth (complexity of information) were varied in five information leaflets for a prescription drug. Each of 150 patrons from a university medical clinic was given one of the leaflets randomly. Patrons were asked to review the information and answer a pretested questionnaire upon completion to determine their degree of information overload. Information overload was operationalized by a 15-item measure which included judgmental, emotional, and evaluative components. A total of 94 individuals (63%) participated in the study. Results of factor analysis suggested that three distinct components of information overload include: judgmental, emotional, and evaluative responses. One-way ANOVA showed that respondents who received too much depth or too little scope of information were more likely to be confused, doubtful, and overwhelmed.
- Information overload
- Prescription drug information