Sunday, October 23, 2011
Grand Ballroom AB (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Poster Board # 42
(DEC) Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making

Candidate for the Lee B. Lusted Student Prize Competition

Jessica A. Kadis, MPH1, Paul L. Reiter, PhD2, Annie-Laurie McRee, DrPH1 and Noel T. Brewer, PhD1, (1)UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, (2)UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC

Purpose: Most parents report that they heard of HPV vaccine through paid drug company advertisements, but no research has established whether these self reports are accurate. We conducted an experiment to examine whether parents could accurately identify the source of ads promoting HPV vaccine for boys and whether the impact of ads varied by source.

Method: A national sample of 547 parents of adolescent males ages 11-17 years completed the online between-subjects experiment. The experiment presented parents with an advertisement encouraging HPV vaccination for boys with a logo from a randomly assigned message source (Merck, Gardasil, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Cancer Society (ACS), or no logo). Parents offered three evaluations (trust, liking, and motivation for vaccination) while viewing the ad. After the ad was removed from the screen, parents indicated who they believed sponsored it.

Result: Nearly half of parents who viewed an advertisement containing a logo incorrectly identified the message source (43%). More parents incorrectly identified the source of non-drug company ads (63%) compared to drug company ads (26%, p<.001). The majority of parents who saw the logo-free ad believed it was created by a drug company (59%), and they often made the same attribution for CDC and ACS ads. Among parents who correctly identified ad source, viewing a drug company ad decreased their motivation to vaccinate their sons. This effect was mediated by reduced liking of and trust in the ads.

Conclusion: Parents had difficulty identifying the source of ads they had just viewed. Parents were more accurate in recognizing drug company ads, primarily because they tended to assume that ads were from drug companies. Future research should focus on identifying cues other than logos that are more effective for conveying message source. Moreover, public health organizations may need to take special measures to emphasize that their messages are not sponsored by drug companies.