One of the most frequent and strong arguments for supporting direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising (DTCA) as a positive influence on individuals and society is that DTCA could contribute to improving patients’ medication adherence, but systematic empirical research testing this proposed effect is scant. To address this gap and provide an answer to the unresolved question about DTCA effects, this study examined the relationship between overall DTCA exposure and patients’ medication adherence through the mechanism of media priming effect increasing medication-related belief accessibility. Results from a survey with a sample of prescription blood thinner takers revealed no significant relationships between DTCA exposure and patients’ belief accessibility regarding their medical conditions and drug benefits and risks, and no support for the hypothesized relationship between DTCA exposure and medication adherence. The findings are discussed within the context of DTCA effect research literature, and theoretical and practical implications are presented.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by the American Academy of Advertising Doctoral Dissertation Award and the Ralph D. Casey Dissertation Research Award given by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota.
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