Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 149-159

First online:

Readability of prescription drug labels by older and younger adults

  • Janan Al-Awar SmitherAffiliated withThe University of Central Florida
  • , Curt C. BraunAffiliated withThe University of Idaho

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This experiment investigated the readability of medication labels using various combinations of fonts, sizes, and weights of print. Older and younger adult reading speeds and error rates for different print types were compared for both bottle and flat labels. Findings of the study indicated significant differences in reading speed, error rates, and subjective evaluations for print characteristics investigated. Furthermore, the effects of these print characteristics varied for different age groups. Implications of these findings for the design of medication labels for older adults are discussed.

Key words

geriatrics health psychology pharmacy compliance, reading legibility