(2004; 102 pages)
1.1 Attitudes do not necessarily match behaviour
Several studies show that finding out what people think about promotion may not be a good way to predict their behaviour. For example, Peay and Peay’s 1984 paper1 suggests a doctor’s view of the worthiness of an information source may not be reflected in how often s/he uses it. Sales representatives and other commercial sources were not evaluated highly, but sales representatives were the most frequent source of first information about medicines, and were one of the most frequently mentioned sources of information needed to prescribe. Other commercial sources were also often mentioned as sources of first information about a drug. Similarly, Gambrill and Bridges-Webb found that 56% of the Australian doctors in their study reported that they used sales representatives as a regular source of information, but only 17% ranked them as the most useful2. McCue et al.3 surveyed general practitioners (GPs), internists and surgeons in North Carolina, about their attitudes towards and use of different sources of information about new drugs. Although only 27.7% of the respondents viewed drug sales representatives as accurate and accessible sources of information about new drugs, they were used more frequently than other sources. This study had a low response rate.