Safe medication use among Hispanic college students: Knowledge, attitudes and behaviors

Tania Guadalupe Quiroz, University of Texas at El Paso


College students are at increased risk of medication errors. Research suggests that young adults are active users of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and other products that may increase the risk for negative health outcomes. Therefore, it is very important to analyze young adults’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors about medication use among college students in order to provide them with the necessary information. Due to language and cultural factors, the issue is particularly relevant in U.S.-Mexico border communities. This casual-comparative study examined knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding medication use among Hispanic college students. Data was collected through a survey developed by the investigator. Analyzes included descriptive statistics and ANOVAs. A total of 494 students participated in the study. Results indicated that there was a significant mean difference in attitudes towards medication use based on age, place of birth, language, and major. There were significant mean differences in attitudes towards herbal products and dietary supplement use based on age, gender, and major. There was also a significant mean difference in behavior based on language and major. Results also indicated that there was a significant effect for place of birth (F (1,441) = 23.454, p<.001) and language (F (2,440) = 24.543, p=0.002) on attitudes toward medication use. Results also indicated a significant effect for language on behavior (F (2,371) = 15.148, p<.001). These factors may determine the acculturation level of the participants. In summary, the data suggested that Hispanic college students are active users of medication, herbal products and dietary supplements. This suggests the need for research on intervention programs designed to address unsafe medication, herbal products, and dietary supplements use in the priority population and in other groups in which the prevalence of concurrent use is of concern.

Subject Area

Behavioral Sciences|Health education|Hispanic American studies|Higher education

Recommended Citation

Quiroz, Tania Guadalupe, "Safe medication use among Hispanic college students: Knowledge, attitudes and behaviors" (2010). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1477818.