Glinert, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures, studies how people use and interpret language, and two of his studies appear in the June issue of the journal Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. Both aim to understand how effectively and efficiently drug ads convey their messages. Glinert says that this line of research was prompted when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for more empirical research on the effects of direct-to-consumer drug advertising in 2002.
The first study, with colleague Jon Schommer, an associate professor of pharmaceutical care and health systems at the University of Minnesota, examined two U.S.-aired drug ads from 1999, one for a drug with low associated health risks and the other with high associated health risks. They used the original ads as well as manipulated versions that placed the risk information at the end of the ads with no visual competition, only a voice over. One hundred thirty-five first-year pharmacy students participated in the study.
"Our research didn't prove one way or the other about viewer interpretation of risk," says Glinert.
Each study participant watched a different version of the ad and then answered a survey about its content. The survey contained questions that tested a viewer's recall of the information in the ad, evaluated the effectiveness of the ad, and measured the perception of the risks of the drug advertised.
"We did find, however, that de-integrating or separating out the risk information for the drug with the more severe risks improved the recall of both general information and side effect details and it led to a perception that the ad had greater informational content. There was no increase i
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