The Patient Package Insert (PPI) in a Developing Country: The Way Forward

By Daleen Krige and Johann C. de Wet.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Both Prescription and OTC (over-the-counter) medications in South Africa are issued with a medication insert in the package. Due to, amongst other factors, a very diverse socio-economic profile, many people rely on self-medication. Through quantitative and qualitative research it was established that there are communication barriers in the PPIs used in South African medication packages, resulting in inaccessibility of the medication information. Identified barriers include, amongst others, certain PPI aspects, information presentation and language aspects. This research therefore included both text and reader variables in determining the type and nature of the barriers. Suggested changes to these essential documents include a rethink of the design and changes to information and language usage in order to create a cultural competent new document that communicates clearly and informatively. This is the only way that this health communication tool will fulfil its role as useful information channel, accessible to all patients/medication users in a developing country.

Keywords: Health Communication, Patient Package Inserts, Reader and Text Variables, Communication Barriers, Cultural Competence

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.95-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 627.396KB).

Dr. Daleen Krige

Lecturer, Department of Communication and Information studies, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Daleen Krige hails from Bloemfontein in the Free State province of South Africa. She is currently employed by the University of the Free State in the Department of Communcation and Information Studies. Apart from Communication studies, she is also interested in languages and theatre. She lectures theory, applied theory, ethics and development communication to undergraduate students at the University, as well as act as study leader to Master’s students. She also has extensive experience as medical writer in the pharmacological research environment, hence her interest in health communication. In her spare time she is actively involved in theatre and often directs plays and persues the study of French literature. She loves classical music, ballet and Spanish dancing.

Prof. Johann C. de Wet

University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Johann de Wet is currently professor and chairperson of the Department of Communication and Information Studies at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. Professor De Wet was born in Cape Town and studied at the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and South Africa. In 1987 he obtained a doctorate in literature and philosophy, specializing in Communication Science, at the University of South Africa in Pretoria. Besides being a former journalist, diplomat and government spokesperson, his career in academe has led him to author/co-author/edit 12 scholarly books, and numerous articles on Communication Science in a variety of academic journals. Much of his research output has focused on persuasive communication and general communication theory. Professor De Wet is the founding and current editor of Communitas, a South African-accredited academic journal on community communication and information impact.

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