Effects of Direct-To-Consumer Advertising and Clinical Guidelines on Appropriate Use of Human Papillomavirus DNA Tests

Published in: Medical Care, v. 49, no. 2, Feb. 2011, p. 132-138

by Rebecca Anhang Price, Richard G. Frank, Paul Cleary, Sue J. Goldie

Read More

Access further information on this document at Medical Care

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

BACKGROUND: Both clinical guidelines and direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising influence the use of new health care technologies, but little is known about their relative effects. The introduction of a cervical cancer screening test in 2000 offered a unique opportunity to assess the 2 strategies. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of clinical guidelines and a targeted DTC advertising campaign on overall and appropriate use of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA tests. RESEARCH DESIGN: Quasi-experimental study using difference-in-differences analysis. Data were MarketScan private insurance claims for 500,000 women aged 21 to 64 enrolled at least 12 consecutive months from January 2001 through December 2005. RESULTS: Both clinical guidelines and DTC advertising were associated with increases in overall HPV DNA test use. DTC advertising was associated with a statistically significant increase in HPV DNA test use in 2 groups of DTC cities (+5.57%, P < 0.0001; +2.54%, P < 0.0001). DTC advertising was associated with comparable increases in the probability of appropriate and inappropriate use of the HPV DNA test in primary screening. Clinical guideline releases from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and by a cosponsored panel, were associated with greater increases in HPV DNA tests for appropriate primary screening than for inappropriate primary screening (B = 0.3347, P < 0.05 and B = 0.4175, P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: DTC advertising was associated with increased overall use of a cervical cancer screening test, whereas clinical guidelines were differentially associated with increased appropriate use. These findings suggest distinct influences of consumer marketing and professional guidelines on the use of health care products and services.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.