207013 Consumers' evaluation of the information in print direct-to-consumer advertising: Does format of the brief summary matter?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nilesh S. Bhutada, PhD , Department of Social & Administrative Pharmacy, California NorthState College of Pharmacy, Rancho Cordova, CA
Aparna Deshpande, PhD , Roger Green & Associates, New Hope, PA
Matthew Perri III, PhD , Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Objective: The “brief summary” in print prescription drug advertisements has been criticized for not facilitating consumers' complete understanding of the risks and benefits associated with the advertised medication. We conducted a study to determine whether consumers' knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions varied across different brief summary formats.

Method: By using mall-intercept surveys, 307 female participants, between the ages of 18-50 years, were randomly assigned to one of the six different versions of brief summary formats for a birth control medicine. These formats included no brief summary, brief summary, risk information window, bulleted list, nutrition facts panel, and question and answer format. After reading a print advertisement for a birth control medication, participants recorded their responses on a questionnaire.

Result: MANOVA results indicated no significant effect (at alpha=0.006) of the brief summary format on consumers' drug-related knowledge, evaluation of risk and benefit information, attitudes towards the ad and brand, ad believability, perceived product risk, and intention to use ad information in making health care decisions.

Conclusion: Regardless of whether a new or existing brief summary format is used, consumers processing and evaluations of information from prescription drug ads remain unaltered. Perhaps, there is no clear superior brief summary format. However, participants from the qualitative focus group were much more favorable to the newer brief summary formats, specifically to the question-answer format. This study underscores the need for further investigation to decide the superiority and usefulness of the newer brief summary formats.

Learning Objectives:
1) Analyze consumers’ perceptions and evaluations of different brief summary formats in print direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medication. 2) Recognize the necessity to further improve the newer user-friendly brief summary formats to enhance consumers understanding of the advertised medication.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the development of the specific methodology for this abstract. I was also involved in the analysis of this research. I was primarily involved in the writing of the abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.