Publication Details

Hall, D., Jones, S. C. & Iverson, D. C. (2011). Disease awareness advertising: women's intentions following exposure. Australian Family Physician, 40 (3), 143-147.


Background: In Australia, where direct to consumer advertising of prescription medicines is prohibited, pharmaceutical companies can sponsor disease awareness advertising targeting consumers. This study examined the impact of disease awareness advertising exposure on older women's reported behavioural intentions. Method: Women were approached in a shopping centre and randomly assigned mock advertisements for two health conditions. Disease information and sponsors were manipulated. Results: Two hundred and forty-one women responded to 466 advertisements. Almost half reported an intention to ask their doctor for a prescription or referral as a result of seeing the advertisement, but more reported they would talk to their doctor and ask about treatments and tests. Participants were more likely to report an intention to ask for prescriptions if they perceived the health condition to be severe and themselves susceptible or if they had viewed advertisements containing limited information on the disease. Discussion: Disease awareness advertising may stimulate demand for prescription medicine products. This has serious implications for general practitioners and regulators