Title page for ETD etd-12242003-110927

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Nardon, Nichole Diane
Author's Email Address nnardon@vt.edu
URN etd-12242003-110927
Title The Low Literate Consumer in the Pharmacy
Degree Master of Science
Department Business Administration
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ozanne, Julie L. Committee Chair
Keith, Janet E. Committee Member
Nakamoto, Kent Committee Member
  • Low Literacy
  • Pharmacy
  • Healthcare Literacy
Date of Defense 2003-12-04
Availability unrestricted
The Low Literate Consumer in the Pharmacy

Nichole D. Nardon (ABSTRACT)

The best public policy arises out of a need to provide protection to those who cannot protect themselves in the marketplace. This paper suggests that consumers with limited literacy skills are routinely overlooked within the healthcare arena and may be in need of consumer protection policies. Low literacy is generally perceived to be a stigma, and consumers may actively work to hide this fact. Moreover, given they lack literacy skills, low literate consumers employ other coping strategies to get their needs met. Based on the analysis of secondary data, in-depth interviews with adults from literacy educational centers, and observations in pharmacies, I explore the viability of the coping strategies that low literate consumers use when buying and consuming prescription and non-prescription drugs. The results suggest that while some of the strategies are successful, other strategies may lead to harmful consequences.

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