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Health Mark Q. 2009;26(4):293-314. doi: 10.1080/07359680903304278.

Direct-to-consumer advertising skepticism and the use and perceived usefulness of prescription drug information sources.

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Nicholson School of Communication, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816-1344, USA.


This study investigates advertising skepticism in the context of consumers' prescription drug information seeking behavior. Results of a telephone survey found that: (a) the overall level of direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) skepticism among consumers was neutral; (b) DTCA skepticism was unrelated to age, positively related to education and income, and varied by race; (c) however, when all the antecedent variables were considered concurrently, only education emerged as a significant predictor (consumers with higher education were more skeptical of DTCA); (d) DTCA skepticism was not significantly related to perceived importance of prescription drug information; (e) DTCA skepticism was not associated with use of advertising and interpersonal sources of prescription drug information; and (f) DTCA skepticism was negatively related to perceived usefulness of advertising sources but unrelated to perceived usefulness of professional interpersonal sources (i.e., physicians and pharmacists). The article concludes with a discussion of findings and directions for future research.

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