California Health Decisions developed a statewide, pilot education initiative called Healthcare 101: Choosing and Using Prescription Medicines.
In "Physician Views and Values on Prescription Drugs," a report on an 18-minute telephone survey of 81 primary care physicians fielded in June 2001 by the Seattle-based firm Endresen Research, the project team reported the following findings:
- Three-quarters of physicians said they were the most appropriate professionals to educate patients about prescription drugs.
- Physicians estimate that two-thirds of patients understand everything they have been told about their medications and that two-thirds of patients comply with instructions about how and when to take their medications.
- While two-thirds of physicians said patients would respond best to both written and oral information about their prescriptions, only one-third of doctors provide both.
Project staff developed 16 fact sheets and tools.
Interventions were designed to test the extent to which consumer education can change the way patients and providers talk about prescription medicine.
The coalition partner CalPERS, which provides health benefits for 1.3 million retired public employees, developed a seven-minute video, Healthcare 101: What You Should Know about Prescription Drugs, based on the California Health Decisions education tools.
Project staff developed four PSAs, from 20 to 60 seconds long.