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Title: The influence of external stimuli on physicians' prescription patterns
Author: van der Geer, Leonardus Adrianus Maria
ISNI:       0000 0001 3542 2674
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2001
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This study was conducted to establish whether or not a set of factors from the model of the theory of planned behaviour, and the composite attitude behaviour model, can predict the prescription behavioural intention of physicians, and to see whether prescription behaviour could be altered by external stimuli developed on the basis of the most and least influential elements of prescription behaviour. The study was conducted in Greece using sales representatives from a pharmaceutical company. Two external stimuli were developed, based on the factors found to influence the prescription behaviour of physicians most and least. In the main study, questionnaires were sent to 538 physicians to evaluate the determinants of their prescription behavioural intention in relation to cost-conscious drug prescribing. Physicians completed questionnaires at the beginning and end of a 6-months study period, during which they were visited monthly by the sales representative. The physicians were divided into three groups: one exposed to the stimulus with the greatest effect on behavioural intention, one to the stimulus with the least effect, and a control group. Information on the actual prescription behaviour of the physicians was collected for a week at the beginning and end of the study period. The data were analysed in accordance with the behavioural models mentioned above. The composite attitude behaviour model was significantly superior to the model of the theory of planned behaviour in predicting prescription behavioural intention. This result demonstrates the usefulness of the former model in predicting non-fully-volitional behaviour. It is frequently thought that physicians are motivated to concentrate principally on the facts in a message. However, this research demonstrated that peripheral considerations are also important, and suggests that attempts to change physicians’ prescription behaviour should include elements of the attitudinal, normative and control constructs that have the most influence on behavioural intention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Doctors; Behaviour; Sales representatives