Category: Bipolar Disorders

PS3- #B62 - Do Drug Advertisements Influence Beliefs and Stigma Toward Mental Illness?

Friday, Nov 17
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: Indigo Ballroom CDGH, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Bipolar Disorder | Medication | Severe Mental Illness

Although television medication advertisements are abundant, there is limited information on the effects of video direct-to-consumer-advertising (DTCA) on beliefs about or stigma towards mental illness. This study examines the immediate effects of a medication advertisement (Latuda) on beliefs and stigma towards one mental illness (bipolar disorder). After completing baseline measures of beliefs and stigma, 424 participants were randomly assigned to view a 90-second medication or automobile advertisement and then complete these measures a second time. The medication advertisement led to increases in the perception of prevalence, treatability, and controllability of bipolar disorder. This indicates that DTCA may bolster one’s appraisal of the commonality of a disorder (e.g., many people have bipolar disorder) and the effectiveness of treatment (e.g., medications are effective in treating bipolar disorder). However, no changes occurred in perception of the biological etiology (“medicalization”) or mental illness stigma (e.g., preferred social distance, perceived dangerousness), contrary to previous research that suggests DTCA may be beneficial in promoting the “medicalization” of mental illness and decreasing mental illness stigma.

Seth A. Brown


University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa