Utilizing the health belief model to predict the purchase intention of over-the-counter diet drugs
Introduction: One out of two packages of medicines sold in Europe is a non-prescription medicinal product. Research on consumer decisions in terms of health has traditionally been explained based on the Health Belief Model. However, no research we are aware of has investigated the purchasing of drugs with an aim of improving health.
Objectives: Test the suitability of the Health Belief Model in the explanation of the purchase intention of over-the-counter diet drugs to improve a health problem, particularly weight.
Methods: A quantitative transversal design was used. An online self-reported questionnaire was administered to a sample of 193 subjects.
Results: Results show a significant influence of all the dimensions of the health belief model on the purchase intention of overthe-counter diet drugs. However, the relationship between barriers to taking action and the intention to purchase was reversed to that predicted.
Conclusion: Results suggest that the health belief model is suitable for the explanation of the individuals´ intention to purchase over-the-counter diet drugs. Key findings will allow the pharmaceutical industry to design communication strategies based on deep consumer knowledge. Future research may deepen into variables such as the influence of word-of-mouth in health-oriented behavior, as well as consumer’s confidence in the properties of the products that allegedly help to adjust weight.
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