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Direct-to-consumer prescription drug websites for stigmatized illnesses
Unformatted Document Text:  Those with stigmatized illnesses such as mental disorders (Corrigan 2004), obesity (Puhl and Heuer 2010) and schizophrenia (Corrigan and Penn 1999) see stigma as a barrier for achieving life goals, as a deterrent to seeking treatment or under-treatment, a cause of low self- esteem, social isolation, or limited employment opportunity (Byrne 1999; Corrigan 2004). Examining the existing stigma reducing strategies will help to establish effective stigma- reducing interventions and improve public health. Corrigan and Penn (1999) present three stigma-reducing intervention strategies: education, contact, and protest. Education can reduce stigma by providing factual information about a stigmatizing condition, and contact strategy can reduce stigma by interacting with people who have the stigmatizing condition. Finally, protest is the strategy ranging from picketing to submitting letters of concern which advocacy groups use in order to challenge wrong and negative representations about stigmatizing conditions shown in media such as televisions, films, and newspapers (Hinshaw 2007). The most promising of current methods under consideration to reduce stigma is the combination of education and contact strategies (Rusch, Angermeyer, and Corrigan 2005). The difference between education and contact intervention strategies are investigated by Corrigan, Larson, Sells, Niessen, and Watson (2007). They measured the reduction of stigmatizing attitudes by education and contact intervention on several dimensions such as avoidance, pity, segregation and responsibility. The results revealed that the group who got contact intervention showed less avoidance, more pity, and less segregation. On the other hand, the education group was less likely to blame people for their illness as a responsibility factor. Given that advocacy groups are not acting with the same goal as pharmaceutical companies regarding sales of prescriptions, based on attribution and recategorization theories, this study borrows from 8

Authors: Kang, Hannah. and An, Soontae.
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Those with stigmatized illnesses such as mental disorders (Corrigan 2004), obesity (Puhl 
and Heuer 2010) and schizophrenia (Corrigan and Penn 1999) see stigma as a barrier for 
achieving life goals, as a deterrent to seeking treatment or under-treatment, a cause of low self-
esteem, social isolation, or limited employment opportunity (Byrne 1999; Corrigan 2004). 
Examining the existing stigma reducing strategies will help to establish effective stigma-
reducing interventions and improve public health. 
Corrigan and Penn (1999) present three stigma-reducing intervention strategies: 
education, contact, and protest. Education can reduce stigma by providing factual information 
about a stigmatizing condition, and contact strategy can reduce stigma by interacting with people 
who have the stigmatizing condition. Finally, protest is the strategy ranging from picketing to 
submitting letters of concern which advocacy groups use in order to challenge wrong and 
negative representations about stigmatizing conditions shown in media such as televisions, films, 
and newspapers (Hinshaw 2007).  
The most promising of current methods under consideration to reduce stigma is the 
combination of education and contact strategies (Rusch, Angermeyer, and Corrigan 2005). The 
difference between education and contact intervention strategies are investigated by Corrigan, 
Larson, Sells, Niessen, and Watson (2007). They measured the reduction of stigmatizing 
attitudes by education and contact intervention on several dimensions such as avoidance, pity, 
segregation and responsibility. The results revealed that the group who got contact intervention 
showed less avoidance, more pity, and less segregation. On the other hand, the education group 
was less likely to blame people for their illness as a responsibility factor. Given that advocacy 
groups are not acting with the same goal as pharmaceutical companies regarding sales of 
prescriptions, based on attribution and recategorization theories, this study borrows from 
8


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