Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
John B. ford
G. Steven Rhiel
The need for participants in medical research trials continues to grow yet the successful recruitment of volunteers remains a challenge. Much of the research regarding patient recruitment activities has been conducted in the social sciences. As such, the specific impact of advertising strategy to help recruit volunteers remains unclear. The proposed research is designed to help to fill this gap in the literature, generating insight for continuing academic research and helping practitioners gain efficiencies in developing new pharmaceuticals.
This research uses an experimental design to assess the impact of two variables upon clinical trial participation. These two variables were selected given that they have not been examined together in the context of clinical trial recruitment. The first manipulated variable is advertising appeal. A help-self appeal, a help-other appeal, or a control appeal are independently featured in advertising copy. The second manipulated variable is message framing. A loss frame or a gain frame is featured in the advertising copy. This resulted in six print advertising scenarios that were randomly assigned to respondents. A third variable, involvement, was measured using three scale items adapted from past research. The research trial was described in each advertisement as a screening/detection trial for melanoma skin cancer.
The attitude variable was measured using a six item scale, subjective norm was measured using a three item scale and intention was measured using a two item scale. The scale items used were adapted from prior research. A questionnaire was developed and pretested and the data was collected by Qualtrics of Provo, Utah. Three hundred seventy eight responses were used to test twelve hypotheses. Regression analysis was used to examine moderation and mediation. Moderated mediation was also tested using the SPSS macro PROCESS (Hayes 2013). The full model also included six covariates. A significant relationship was found between the help-others appeal (when compared to the control appeal) and the attitude toward participation in a clinical research trial for melanoma skin cancer. Furthermore, attitude was found to mediate the relationship between a help-others appeal (when compared to the control appeal) and the intention to participate in a clinical research trial for melanoma skin cancer. The moderating variable message frame was found to be a significant moderator of the relationship between both the help-self appeal and the help-others appeal and the attitude toward participation in a clinical research trial for melanoma skin cancer. A loss frame led to a greater attitude toward participation in a clinical trial for either of the two appeals. There was no significant relationship between the gain frame and attitude. Involvement was not a significant moderator of the relationship between either of the two appeals and attitude toward clinical trial participation. The direction of the relationship between involvement and attitude was however positive. Moderated mediation results were different for the help-self and the help-others appeal. Independent of any moderation by message frame (gain or loss), the indirect effect of the help-self appeal on intention through attitude is moderated by involvement. As involvement with melanoma increases, the indirect effect of the help-self appeal through attitude upon intention to participate in a clinical research trial for melanoma skin cancer also increases, regardless of frame type. Independent of any moderation by involvement, the indirect effect of the help-others appeal upon intention through attitude is moderated by frame type. At each level of involvement, there is a greater indirect effect of the help-others appeal through attitude upon intention to participate in a clinical research trial for melanoma skin cancer for a loss frame than a gain frame.
Casey, Susan L.. "The Impact of Help-Self and Help-Others Appeals Upon Participation in Clinical Research Trials" (2017). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), dissertation, Marketing, Old Dominion University, https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/marketing_etds/5