Patient-directed medicine labeling: Text differences between the United States and Spain

Authors

  • Ulla Connor Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA
  • Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido Departament d’Estudis Anglesos, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain
  • William Rozycki Indiana Center for Intercultural, Indianapolis, USA
  • Elizabeth Goering IUPUI, Department of Communication Studies, Indianapolis, USA
  • Eleanor D. Kinney Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, USA
  • Julia M. Koehler Butler University, Indianapolis, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v5i2.117

Keywords:

patient adherence, patient-directed medicine labeling, patient information leaflet, patient package insert, text analysis

Abstract

As part of a larger project to examine the complexities of patient adherence to medical directions, the current study compares written information given with prescribed medicines to patients in the United States (US) and Spain suffering from two chronic diseases. First, the legal context of the voluntary nature of the provision of such information in the US, and the mandatory nature of provision in Spain, was explored. Then, 30 drugs in common use in both countries, 19 for cardiovascular disease and 11 for endocrine disorders, were identified and the texts of the corresponding patient-directed written information were included in an electronic corpus and analysed. Ten rhetorical features common to both the US and Spanish texts were identified. Differences were found in the placement of two of the features in relation to the complete text: information on ‘side effects’ and concerning ‘the need to seek medical advice’ appeared more frequently throughout the US texts than in the Spanish texts. Detailed lexical analysis showed more technical vocabulary in use in the Spanish texts.

Author Biographies

Ulla Connor, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis, USA

Ulla Connor received her Ph.D in English linguistics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is currently the Barbara E. and Karl R. Zimmer Chair in Intercultural Communication, director of the Indiana Center for Intercultural Communication, and professor of English at IUPUI. Her research interests include sociolinguistics and contrastive rhetoric applied to second language teaching, text analysis and medical discourse. Her most recent booklength publication is Contrastive Rhetoric: Reaching to Intercultural Rhetoric (2008, John Benjamins).

Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido, Departament d’Estudis Anglesos, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

Miguel F. Ruiz-Garrido received his Ph.D in English Philology and is currently lecturer in Universitat Jaume I (Spain). His research interests include text analysis and genre studies within English for Specific Purposes, and he has published analyses of both written and oral texts. He has recently co-edited Intercultural and International Business Communication: Theory, Research and Teaching (2006, Peter Lang).

William Rozycki, Indiana Center for Intercultural, Indianapolis, USA

William Rozycki received his Ph.D. in Central Asian studies from Indiana University and currently is associate director of the Indiana Center for Intercultural Communication at IUPUI. His research interests include intercultural communication and medical discourse. His most recent publication is Contrastive rhetoric: Reaching to Intercultural Rhetoric (2008, John Benjamins).

Elizabeth Goering, IUPUI, Department of Communication Studies, Indianapolis, USA

Elizabeth Goering received her Ph.D in organizational communication from Purdue University and is currently associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at IUPUI. Her research interests focus on intercultural communication in a variety of contexts. Work she has published in the field of health discourse includes A Case Study of the American Nurses Association/American Nurses Foundation, and Compliance gaining Behavior: Analysis of Cognitive Processes Underlying Message Production.

Eleanor D. Kinney, Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, USA

Eleanor D. Kinney received her law degree at Duke University and her masters of public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Hall Render Professor of Law and Co Director of the William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health, and Hall Render Professor of Law at the Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. Her interests include the US healthcare system, health care financing and regulation, medical malpractice, long term care, health and human rights and administrative law. Her most recent books are Protecting American Health Care Consumers (2002, Duke University Press) and Guide to Medicare Coverage Decision-making and Appeals (2002, American Bar Association).

Julia M. Koehler, Butler University, Indianapolis, USA

Julia M. Koehler received her doctor of pharmacy degree from Purdue University and is a clinical pharmacist in Family Medicine with the Indiana University School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program at Clarian Health Partners and associate professor and chair of Pharmacy Practice at Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Her areas of interest include chronic disease states such as heart failure, hypertension, and chronic obstructive lung disease. She is currently coeditor of the seventh edition of the Pharmacotherapy Casebook: A Patient-focused Approach (2008, McGraw- Hill).

Published

2009-03-14

How to Cite

Connor, U., Ruiz-Garrido, M. F., Rozycki, W., Goering, E., Kinney, E. D., & Koehler, J. M. (2009). Patient-directed medicine labeling: Text differences between the United States and Spain. Communication and Medicine, 5(2), 117–132. https://doi.org/10.1558/cam.v5i2.117

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Section

Articles