Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Health Services

Advisor

JaMuir Robinson

Abstract

The elderly population is among the fastest growing populations in the United States. Finding and consuming medications safely and effectively are challenging endeavors for this population. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a widely consumed class of medications among the elderly population, with 70% of individuals consuming over-the-counter (OTC) NSAIDs once a week and 34% using them daily. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether (a) patients are aware of the risks associated with the consumption of NSAIDs, and (b) there are differences in awareness based upon specific demographic characteristics and levels of patient-physician communication. The health belief model (HBM) was used to interpret the results. The HBM is a social cognition framework that takes into account different perceptions, namely, perceived susceptibility of acquiring a health condition, perceived severity of the condition and its consequences, perceived barriers to engaging in the recommended behavior, perceived benefits of engaging in the recommended behavior, and perceived costs of engaging in the recommended behavior. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the data. The results, which were based upon a cross-sectional survey of 124 participants, showed that the participants' awareness of adverse events associated with NSAIDs use was not associated with sociodemographic variables, rates of consumption, or patient-physician communication. The findings will give the key stakeholders more insight into the issue of preventable adverse events that might lead to the establishment of more safety programs and informatics structural systems to monitor the consumption of OTC NSAIDs and improve lines of communication to protect the elderly population.