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Airline pilots' knowledge and beliefs about over-the-counter medications  (2010)
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Introduction: Toxicological studies of accident pilots frequently find the presence of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. While many of these drugs are approved for use while flying, others are not. To better understand how pilots come to use unapproved OTC drugs, this study explored psychological and behavioral factors that might influence pilots' decisions about using OTC drug products.

Methods: 216 working airline pilots completed a survey that probed their: (1) attitudes toward taking medications; (2) knowledge of OTC medications and the pilot-specific rules that govern their usage; (3) perceived pressures in the work environment; and (4) use of available information about OTC medications.

Results: The results characterize pilots as workers who are often highly motivated to consider the use of OTC medications, but who the lack knowledge, available information, and information-seeking habits to make informed decisions about OTC drug usage under the more complicated constraints of a safety-critical job.

Discussion: Rather than attempt to diminish the perceived appeal of OTC medications in the minds of pilots, we argue that pilots must be provided with additional guidance when making decisions about OTC drug usage.
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Airline, Aviation, beliefs, counter, Environmental Medicine, knowledge, medications, over, pilots, Space
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Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 81, 112-119
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019