2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

College Students' Perceived Self-Efficacy & Knowledge Regarding Over-the-Counter Cold & Flu Medications
Caroline E. Nelson* and Kelly M. Meade
Dr. Darson L. Rhodes, Faculty Mentor

Over-the-counter medications are used by a large proportion of adults for cold and flu symptom relief, but unintentional misuse can be extremely dangerous. Acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of poisoning throughout the world, yet much of the general populace considers over-the-counter medications safe and benign. In a study of undergraduate students, participants were provided photographs of common over-the-counter medication packages, and were asked to interpret and apply the printed drug facts. Survey questions asked participants to identify drugs intended purposes, the number of pills in one dose, and how frequently doses can be safely repeated. Preliminary results indicate students high self-confidence in their ability to safely use over-the-counter medications does not coincide with their measured capability to identify common drugs' purposes, potential dangers, and safe dosages. Targeted health education and/or changes to consumer labeling may be needed to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with unintentional misuse of non-prescription medications.

Keywords: Health Literacy, Over-the-Counter Medication, Self-Efficacy, Undergraduate Students

Topic(s):Health Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 7-2
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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