alexa Comprehensibility of the package leaflets of all medicinal products for human use: a questionnaire survey about the use of symbols and pictograms.

Author(s): Bernardini C, Ambrogi V, Perioli LC, Tiralti MC, Fardella G

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Abstract Directive 92/27EEC establishes that the package leaflet is a document, which must be included in the package of medicinal products for human use in EU countries. This informative leaflet is directed at the users and it must give full and comprehensible information. The Law suggests the use of symbols but it does not give advice about the subjects to be represented. In order to evaluate the attitude of patients towards package leaflets provided with symbols, we planned a survey interviewing 1004 patients in pharmacies. The data suggest that Italian patients usually read the package leaflet but they neither understand it easily nor find the needed information readily. Most respondents (74.3\%) considered the use of symbols helpful in finding the needed information. We proposed five symbols for each heading (therapeutic indications, side effects, paediatric use, contraindications, use in pregnancy) and asked to select which symbol could be used. In the case of 'side effects', 'paediatric use', 'use in pregnancy' and 'dose', most of the respondents chose the same symbol. In the case of 'therapeutic indications' and 'contraindications' there was no uniformity in the answers. The choice depends greatly on education, age and employment of respondents. Copyright 2000 Academic Press. This article was published in Pharmacol Res and referenced in

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