The role of direct-to-consumer advertising in shaping public opinion surrounding prescription drug use to treat depression or anxiety in youth

Lourdes S. Martinez, Nehama Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of exposure to prescription drug advertisements for antidepressants and antianxiety medications on public opinion regarding preferred treatment options for youth suffering from depression or anxiety. The study randomly recruited a nationally representative adult sample (N=402) through the 2007 Annenberg National Health Communication Survey. The study examined the distribution of public support for the use of antidepressant drugs to treat depression and anxiety disorders in youth. The analysis adjusted for the effects of demographic characteristics, prior knowledge about prescription drugs, and personal and familial drug history. Attitude toward direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA, for all products) moderated the effect of exposure to ads for these drug treatments on support for their use among youth as a preferred treatment. Among respondents with negative attitude toward direct-to-consumer advertising (for all products), with increased exposure to ads for antidepressants and antianxiety medications, support for the use of these drugs to treat youth decreased. Among this group, with high levels of exposure to advertisements, the predicted probability of support decreased from 0.68 (95% CI: 0.61 to 0.76) to 0.46 (95% CI: 0.38 to 0.56). No effect was found among respondents with positive attitudes toward DTCA (for all products). The implications of the findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-261
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of direct-to-consumer advertising in shaping public opinion surrounding prescription drug use to treat depression or anxiety in youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this