Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Carlson

Second Advisor

Dr. David Hartmann

Third Advisor

Dr. Victoria Ross

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration relaxed the guidelines regarding the advertising of prescription drugs directly to consumers (i.e., direct-to-consumer advertising, DTCA). The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of DTCA on the relationships of healthcare providers with their patients. In order to accomplish this task, in-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with ten nurse practitioners (NPs). The interviews sought out provider perceptions on four topics as they relate to DTCA: diagnosis and treatment decisions, prescribing practices, additional burden on the provider, and patient trust in the provider. The findings reveal that DTCA has had both positive and negative effects on the relationships between NPs and their patients, but, overall, NPs felt that their relationships with their patients remained strong and undamaged by DTCA.

Included in

Sociology Commons