Date of Award

Summer 2022

Access Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Aviation


College of Aviation

Committee Chair

Robert E. Joslin

First Committee Member

Kristy Kiernan

Second Committee Member

Dothang Truong

Third Committee Member

Paul L. Myers III


Nearly half of the U.S. population regularly use and depend on prescription medications; however, pharmacy availability and access to pharmacy services are often lacking, particularly in rural communities. In an effort to meet local healthcare needs, delivery by sUAS is proposed to ensure the nearly 60 million rural residents have access to their prescription medications.

As an emerging technology with little research into home delivery applications, the successful implementation of sUAS for prescription medication delivery requires public acceptance and positive behavioral intention toward its use. At the time of the current research, no prior studies have specifically focused on the individual factors that impact the behavioral intention of using sUAS for prescription medication delivery.

This dissertation developed a modified behavioral research model to determine the factors that influenced individual’s behavioral intention to use sUAS for prescription medication delivery and the relationships between those factors. The model integrated factors from the technology acceptance model (TAM) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) and added the factors of perceived risk and trust. Using random sampling through Amazon MTurk, participants accessed an online cross-sectional survey for data collection. Data analysis included descriptive statistics assessment, CFA analysis, and the full SEM process.

Results indicated the research model had strong predictive power of sUAS use for prescription medication delivery with eight of the ten hypotheses supported. One new relationship was identified of subjective norms having a positive influence on perceived risk, though not supported by current literature. Further investigation into the relationship is warranted to better understand the impact. Additionally, all model factors were found to have a direct or indirect impact on behavioral intention, with perceived usefulness, trust, and subjective norms having the strongest effects.

The current research filled a gap in existing literature by exploring factors associated with behavioral intention to use sUAS for prescription medication delivery. Additionally, a new research model was provided for identifying influencing factors for behavioral intention of this sUAS application and the nature of the relationships among the factors. Thus, this new model can be used for further sUAS research and may provide an adaptable model for other industries to facilitate new technology implementation.