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No blank slates: Pre-existing schemas about pharmaceuticals predict memory for side effects

Heller, MK; Chapman, SCE; Horne, R; (2017) No blank slates: Pre-existing schemas about pharmaceuticals predict memory for side effects. Psychology and Health , 32 (4) pp. 402-421. 10.1080/08870446.2016.1273355. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Attribution of symptoms as medication side effects is informed by pre-existing beliefs about medicines and perceptions of personal sensitivity to their effects (pharmaceutical schemas). We tested whether (1) pharmaceutical schemas were associated with memory (recall/recognition) for side effect information (2) memory explained the attribution of a common unrelated symptom as a side effect. DESIGN: In this analogue study participants saw the patient leaflet of a fictitious asthma drug listing eight side effects. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We measured recall and recognition memory for side effects and used a vignette to test whether participants attributed an unlisted common symptom (headache) as a side effect. RESULTS: Participants who perceived pharmaceuticals as more harmful in general recalled fewer side effects correctly (rCorrect Recall = −.273), were less able to differentiate between listed and unlisted side effects (rRecognition Sensitivity = −.256) and were more likely to attribute the unlisted headache symptom as a side effect (rside effect attribution = .381, ps < .01). The effect of harm beliefs on side effect attribution was partially mediated by correct recall of side effects. CONCLUSION: Pharmaceutical schemas are associated with memory for side effect information. Memory may explain part of the association between pharmaceutical schemas and the attribution of unrelated symptoms as side effects.

Type: Article
Title: No blank slates: Pre-existing schemas about pharmaceuticals predict memory for side effects
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2016.1273355
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2016.1273355
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Social Sciences, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health, Psychology, Multidisciplinary, Psychology, Pharmaceutical Schemas, Memory, Side Effects, Beliefs About Medicines, Questionnaire, Perceived Sensitivity To Medicines Scale, Fuzzy-Trace Theory, Rheumatoid-Arthritis, Medical Information, Attentional Biases, Medicines, Beliefs, Adherence, Illness, Representation, Sensitivity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Practice and Policy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1544876
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