In conducting this research, data were collected with approval from both Georgia Institute of Technology (the former employer of the first author) and Cornell University’s Institutional Review Boards. The participants were part of an IRB approved subject pool at Georgia Tech that involved approximately 200–225 students. Being a member of the subject pool, participants were informed via email about upcoming studies, including this one.
Upon entering the lab, people did receive a consent form with study information.
The last sentence of the consent form read “By answering the survey questions you have agreed to be a participant in this study”. To determine if teaspoon units in dose recommendations bias patient choice of measuring device for dispensing over-the-counter medicine, 194 university students (118 male; mean age, 20.6 years [SD, 1.5]) participated in a for-credit, between-subject design study. All participants completed a consent form to participate in this research.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions where dose recommendations for cough medicine were given in either (1) teaspoons (1 teaspoonful every 12 h), (2) milliliters (5 mL every 12 h), or (3) both teaspoons and milliliters (1 teaspoonful (5 mL) every 12 h). All three dose recommendations stated: “The FDA recommends against the use of kitchenware to medicate liquid medicines.” Next, all participants were shown pictures of four different dosing devices: (1) a kitchen teaspoon, (2) a measuring cup with milliliter (mL) marks, (3) a measuring cup with teaspoon (tsp) marks, and (4) a measuring cup with both milliliter (mL) and teaspoon (tsp) marks. Participants were then asked which device they would use.