Safety beliefs and knowledge of cognitive enhancers in UK university students



Cognitive enhancers (CE) are prescription drugs taken, either without a prescription or at a dose exceeding that which is prescribed, to improve cognitive functions such as concentration, vigilance or memory. Previous research suggests that users believe the drugs to be safer than non-users and that they have sufficient knowledge to judge safety. However, no research had actually compared the information sources used and safety knowledge of users and non-users. This study therefore compared users and non-users of CE in terms of i) their sources of knowledge about the safety of CE and ii) the accuracy of their knowledge of possible adverse effects of a typical cognitive enhancer (modafinil); and iii) how the accuracy of knowledge relates to their safety beliefs. Students (N=148) from King’s College London (UK) completed an anonymous online survey assessing safety beliefs, sources of knowledge and knowledge of the safety of modafinil; and indicated whether they used CE, and, if so, which drug(s).
Date made available6 Jan 2021
PublisherKing's College London

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