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Silvia Riva, Gabriella Pravettoni

Introduction: Many people rely on non-prescription drugs therapy to treat common medical conditions. Health technology can be a valid support to help people in selecting and choosing an appropriate treatment. Aim: This study examined how common people make their decisions to select a non-prescription drug, evaluating comprehensibility and satisfaction of a virtual tool that could propose and sell different types of non-prescription drugs therapy. Methods: Fifty voluntary participants were enrolled to conduct both the experiment with the virtual tool and a short structured interview which included comprehensibility and satisfaction questions, about the task performed. Results: All participants performed the task quickly and easily. Most of them focused their attention only on specific cues (91%) of the drugs, namely side effect (61%) and doctor’s advice (39%). Moreover participants evaluated the tool as comprehensible and satisficing. Conclusion: The use of non-prescription drugs therapy shift different responsibilities onto the individuals. A dedicated virtual tool can represent a valid support to help people in these type of decisions. These findings have implications both for the cognitive psychology that studies the cognitive process behind the choice and the selection of a drug and for technology and computer science that studies how to create concrete support for improve people’s quality of life.