Patient Perception and Clinical Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Phillip Gu, Edward Yang, Punya Chittajallu, Cathy McNeill, Amit G. Singal, John H. Kwon, Tasneem F Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: With an increasing number of available therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), little is known about patients’ attitudes regarding IBD-related direct-to-consumer advertising (IBD-DTCA) and its impact on treatment decisions in clinical practice. Methods: We administered a 58-item, mailed questionnaire to patients with IBD receiving Gastroenterology subspecialty care at a large academic health system. The survey assessed patient awareness and perception of IBD-DTCA and its effect on IBD treatment discussions and decisions. We used bivariate analysis to evaluate patient-level factors associated with awareness and favorable perception of IBD-DTCA. Results: We achieved a response rate of 15.2% (n = 226 of 1486). Most patients (93.3%) reported awareness of IBD-DTCA, with adalimumab receiving the most exposure. A majority of respondents reported IBD-DTCA made them more aware of treatments they otherwise would not know about (53.6%), provided information in a balanced manner (63.5%), and taught them about new potential risks and side effects (64.5%). Patients without a college degree and those with a household income less than $75 k per year perceived IBD-DTCA more favorably. However, IBD-DTCA rarely changed IBD management, with only 7.6% of respondents having a discussion with their provider about the advertised drug and only two (0.9%) being initiated on the advertised drug. Conclusion: IBD patients were aware of IBD-DTCA and perceived it favorably; however, IBD-DTCA rarely led to patient-provider discussions or changes in treatment regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Crohn’s disease
  • Direct-to-consumer advertising
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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