The potential positive effect of Direct-to-Consumer prescription drug advertising (DTCA) on patient medication adherence is one of DTCA supporters' main arguments, but the relationship between DTCA and medication adherence has not been fully investigated at the individual level. This study investigated the effects of DTCA exposure on patients' medication adherence at the individual-level, applying the media priming effect framework. Based on the previous media priming research, this study hypothesizes that frequent exposure to the standardized content of DTCA messages about the advertised prescription drug increases the chronic accessibility of the patient's descriptive and evaluative beliefs about the illness and the drugs, which in turn, influence patient medication adherence. Preliminary qualitative study was conducted to develop and refine some of the main study measurements, and an online survey with a sample of prescription blood thinner takers was conducted to test the hypotheses and investigate the research questions. Overall, the study did not find any supporting evidence of the DTCA exposure's direct effects on patient medication adherence or its indirect effects via increasing belief accessibility. The findings showed limited supports for the relationship between category-level DTCA exposure and patients' accessibility to the content of patients' descriptive beliefs about the illness and the drug benefits. Among the accessible beliefs, the content of the descriptive beliefs about the illness and the drug risk showed significantly positive relationships with patient medication adherence. The implication of the study findings and the future research directions are discussed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2015. Major: Mass Communication. Advisor: Jisu Huh. 1 computer file (PDF); ii, 210 pages.
Effects of Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertising on Patients' Medication Regimen Adherence.
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