Direct-to-consumer marketing: A complementary approach to traditional dissemination and implementation efforts for mental health and substance abuse interventions

  • Becker S
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The overall chasm between those who need treatment for mental health and substance use (M/SU) and those who receive effective treatment consists of two interrelated gaps: the research-to-practice gap and the treatment gap. Prior efforts to disseminate evidence-based practice (EBP) for M/SU have predominantly targeted the research-to-practice gap, by focusing efforts toward treatment providers. This article introduces direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing that targets patients and caregivers as a complementary approach to existing dissemination efforts. Specific issues discussed include the following: rationale for DTC marketing based on the concept of push versus pull marketing; overview of key stakeholders involved in DTC marketing; and description of the Marketing Mix planning framework. The applicability of these issues to the dissemination of EBP for M/SU is discussed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Direct-to-consumer
  • Dissemination
  • Implementation
  • Marketing
  • Mental health
  • Substance abuse

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  • Sara J. Becker

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