Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Norman V. Carroll


OBJECTIVES: To identify the types of patients who talk with their physicians as a result of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising. METHODS: Data were taken from a national survey, "Public Health Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs, July 2001- January 2002", conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School. Participants (n = 3000) were interviewed by telephone. We constructed a conceptual framework consisting of outcomes (3 types of physician visits), intervention (DTC experience) and five groups of explanatory factors (health beliefs, demographics, health status, socioeconomic status and market factors). Data were analyzed with three multivariate stepwise logistic regressions. The three dependent variables were whether an advertisement for a prescription drug had ever prompted the patient to: 1) visit to discuss prescription drug, 2) visit to discuss new condition, and 3) visit to discuss treatment change. RESULTS: Out of all independent variables, only six variables consistently showed significant effects on the three dependent variables after adjusting for other variables. They were: 1) taking medication on regular basis, 2) having anxiety, 3) having high advertisement attentiveness, 4) viewing media as the most important source prompting one to talk with physician, 5) believing that DTC advertisements increased awareness of new treatment, and 6) believing that DTC advertisements improved discussion with health professionals. The six variables were the strongest predictors for DTC-prompted physician visits.CONCLUSIONS: Our nationally representative study found multiple factors were associated with different types of physician visits prompted by DTC advertisements. This information could be used to target those patients most likely to talk to their physicians as a result of DTC advertisements.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008