How direct-to-consumer drug websites convey disease information: Analysis of stigma-reducing components

Hannah Kang, Soontae An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given the growing trend of the Internet as a source of health information, this study evaluated whether direct-to-consumer prescription drug websites for stigmatized illnesses contained stigma-reducing components: onset controllability, offset controllability, and recategorization. The authors examined the contents of the first-level homepages and the second-level pages in 88 stand-alone websites for 15 different stigmatized conditions. Overall, about a third of the websites did not provide a direct link to detailed disease information on the homepage. On the homepages, three stigma-reducing components were rarely offered either through textual or visual cues. On the second level, in terms of textual cues, onset controllability and recategorization were the most prevalent, while offset controllability was relatively less frequent. There were no visual cues on the second level. Results point out the limited and insufficient stigma-reducing components of direct-to-consumer prescription drug websites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1491
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Health Communication
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2013

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