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Enhancing Patient Understanding of Medication Risks and Benefits

Young woman with high fever coughing and taking a medicine in the bed.

Arthritis Care & Research

Susan J. Blalock, Elizabeth B. Solow, Valerie F. Reyna, Molly Keebler, Delesha Carpenter, Caprice Hunt, Genevieve Hickey, Kimberlee O’Neill, Jeffrey R. Curtis and Sandra Bond Chapman

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Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis often lack access to accurate, personally relevant information about treatment options. Limited understanding of the gist (i.e., “bottom-line” meaning) of consumer medication information has become an obstacle in treatment. This study collected data through DrugFactsBox, telephone interviews and online questionnaires at 4 time points (baseline, 6-week, 3-month, 6-month time) from 286 participants, randomly assigning each to one of four groups: DrugFactsBox; DrugFactsBox with SMART™ Brain Training; other consumer medication information (CMI); or other CMI with SMART. adequate knowledge.Findings from this study suggest participants provided with SMART strategies over six months demonstrated improvements in informed decision making. Among those with knowledge deficits, SMART may facilitate informed decision making by helping develop skills needed to understand and use complex information concerning medication risks/benefits.

Figure 1 demonstrates the conceptual framework behind this study which concludes that providing gist reasoning training can make individuals better consumers of information. Which, in the context of medication information, leads to more informed decision making regarding treatments.

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Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD

Chief Director Dee Wyly Distinguished Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences Co-Leader, The BrainHealth Project

Related Information

Center for BrainHealth’s SMART Methodology Helps Patients Make More Informed Treatment Decisions

A team of researchers, including Sandra Bond Chapman, PhD, chief director, and Molly Keebler, former head of community programs at Center for BrainHealth, found that employing SMART™ methodology helps patients with rheumatoid arthritis make more informed decisions about their health.

The BrainHealth Project

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