This quantitative study explored young women's response to direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising (DTCA) for a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. In particular, the study examined (a) the association of factors stemming from consumer research with actual and intended behavioral responses to DTCA for HPV and (b) key elements drawn from commonly used health-related theories to determine the strongest associations with behavioral intentions regarding the HPV vaccine. Survey findings showed that vaccinated women indicated that DTCA played a role in their decision to get vaccinated against HPV more so than those who were not vaccinated. Trust in DTCA for an HPV vaccine brand was significantly related to intentions to seek more information about the vaccine. Also, perceived barriers had the only significant association with behavioral intentions when taking into account perceived threat and response efficacy. These results provide practical implications for key industry decision makers and health communication professionals on the design of effective theory-based health communication message content for an HPV vaccine brand with consequent social implications.
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