Evaluating explanations about drug prescriptions: effects of varying the nature of information about side effects and its relative position in explanations
Berry, D. C., Michas, I. C. and De Rosis, F. (1998) Evaluating explanations about drug prescriptions: effects of varying the nature of information about side effects and its relative position in explanations. Psychology and Health, 13 (5). pp. 767-784. ISSN 0887-0446
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/08870449808407431
This study evaluates computer-generated written explanations about drug prescriptions that are based on an analysis of both patient and doctor informational needs. Three experiments examine the effects of varying the type of information given about the possible side effects of the medication, and the order of information within the explanation. Experiment 1 investigated the effects of these two factors on people's ratings of how good they consider the explanations to be and of their perceived likelihood of taking the medication, as well as on their memory for the information in the explanation. Experiment 2 further examined the effects of varying information about side effects by separating out the contribution of number and severity of side effects. It was found that participants in this study did not “like” explanations that described severe side effects, and also judged that they would be less likely to take the medication if given such explanations. Experiment 3 therefore investigated whether information about severe side effects could be presented in such a way as to increase judgements of how good explanations are thought to be, as well as the perceived likelihood of adherence. The results showed some benefits of providing additional explanatory information.