Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Case Study

The Situation

This project was designed to study experimentally the effects of messages about medical countermeasure (MCM) drugs that could be posted on the Food and Drug Administration website in the event of a terrorist attack or other public health emergency. In the fall of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s Office of Communications (CDER/OCOMM) partnered with Lake Research Partners (LRP) on a project titled Studies to Enhance Food and Drug Administration Communications Addressing Medical Countermeasures Prescription Drug Products to guide its efforts to effectively communicate with the public in the case of a public health emergency. LRP retained Dr. Quarles, who is an expert in communication, as well as survey design and analysis, to guide the project. 

The Process

The study tested the impact of different messages about medical countermeasures that might be used in the event of a public health emergency, such as an epidemic, natural disaster, or terrorist attack. Becky Quarles played a major role in the development of the survey measures, prepared the OMB Clearance Package (which was quickly approved), and carried out the multivariate analysis, which includes experimental analysis (ANOVA) to assess the impact of the messages and Structural Equations Modeling (SEM) to reveal the process of attitude formation and change regarding the use of medical countermeasures.

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Results

The study achieved the goal of this research, which was to gain generalizable results that can be used to revise the current messages, which were based on three specific types of public health emergencies and developing guidelines that can be applied to message development for future public health emergencies. 

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