Interpretation of Pharmaceutical Pictograms by Pharmacy and Non-Pharmacy University Students


Background: The present study was undertaken to evaluate the correct interpretation by university students of internationally available pictograms and to assess the ability of the pictograms to convey the intended messages. Aim: To compare the ability of pharmacy and non-pharmacy students to comprehend pharmaceutical pictograms. Method: Twenty eight internationally available (United States Pharmacopoeial Convention Inc. USP) pictograms were used throughout this study, which was conducted with 300 pharmacy and non-pharmacy students. Questionnaires included relevant questions, and participants were instructed to study the pictograms and write their interpretations. The American National Standards Institute requirement of 85% correctness criterion was used for correct interpretation. Differences between responses of the two groups were calculated using SPSS version 18 and p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The majority of pharmacy (98%) and non-pharmacy (86%) students stated that pictograms should be included in medicine leaflet and they were helpful for all patients. Out of the 28 pictograms 7 (25%) and 2 (7.1%) of them achieved the ANSI requirement of 85% correctness criterion by pharmacy and non-pharmacy students respectively. Conclusion: Interventions to increase public awareness of the usefulness of pharmaceutical pictograms are needed.


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Sharif, S. , Abdulla, M. , Yousif, A. and Mohamed, D. (2014) Interpretation of Pharmaceutical Pictograms by Pharmacy and Non-Pharmacy University Students. Pharmacology & Pharmacy, 5, 821-827. doi: 10.4236/pp.2014.58092.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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