Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate individuals' processing of prescription drug information under different conditions of presentation. Design: Videotapes and written materials were used to develop 12 different conditions of presentation and data were collected via a mailed survey methodology. Controlling for respondent age, we studied respondents' perceptions of cognitive effort required to process the information, information overload, and evaluative response to the information. Also, we documented and studied the number of questions reported after exposure to the information. Subjects: Study materials were mailed to 624 volunteers living in the United States, of which 477 (76.4%) returned completed data forms. Results and conclusions: The results suggest there is a balance between the need for information at a level sufficient for individuals to make decisions and the need for information that will not overload individuals as they cognitively process it.
- Information overload
- Information processing
- Prescription drug information