A Two-Year Cross-Sectional Study on the Information About Schizophrenia Divulged by a Prestigious Daily Newspaper

Department of Collective Health, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Rua Borges Lagoa 570, Vila Clementino, São Paulo, Brazil.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease (Impact Factor: 1.69). 09/2011; 199(9):659-65. DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318229cf90
Source: PubMed


Media is an important source of information about mental health for the public. The current study analyzed the information about schizophrenia divulged by the largest Brazilian newspaper. A content analysis examined articles on health and news involving affected individuals or suspected cases. The articles were rated against indicators of poor quality reporting and of effective health communication. The presence of myths was examined. The search identified 687 articles, 75 of which fulfilled the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were selected. The themes with the highest number of articles were mental disorders and violence, treatment, and etiology. Three articles described the social inclusion stories of affected individuals. The coverage addressed genetic factors, drug-induced psychosis risk, and antipsychotic benefits, which may contribute to stigma reduction toward treatment. However, the articles divulged stigmatizing messages, and the entire complexity of the disorder was not discussed. Dangerousness was a common theme, which may invalidate positive messages about social inclusion.

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    • "However, the content of articles dealing with this illness has not been a subject of scientific investigation. Most studies involved mental disorder in general, violence by the individuals with the serious mental illness, or schizophrenia (20, 21, 25).We were interested to find out whether the number of articles describing PTSD in the Korean print media continues to grow and how accurately and appropriately the newspapers report the cause, the symptoms and treatment of PTSD. Thus, articles from three nationally representative daily newspapers were investigated. "
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    ABSTRACT: The print media is still one of major sources for health-related information. To shed light on how the media accurately delivers information for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we searched the newspaper articles and analyzed their contents for accuracy in the description of symptoms, causes, and treatment of PTSD. The articles featuring PSTD were searched from the very first available to 2010 at on-line search systems of three major Korean newspapers. A total of 123 articles appeared and the first article appeared in 1984. The number of articles steadily increased till the early 2000s but we found the robust increase in the late 2000s. Among the mentioned symptoms of PTSD: re-experience (39%) was most common, followed by avoidance or numbing (28%) and hyperarousal (22%). Of the 29 articles mentioning treatment of PTSD, 13 mentioned psychotherapy only and 11 mentioned both psychotherapy and medication equally. However, the psychotherapies mentioned were non-specific and only five articles mentioned any empirically supported therapies. The number of articles on PTSD in Korean newspapers has continually increased during the last three decades. However, the quality of information on the treatment of PTSD was questionable.
    Journal of Korean medical science 07/2013; 28(7):1077-82. DOI:10.3346/jkms.2013.28.7.1077 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "The independent impact of perceived dangerousness as a very important mediator of stigma has been stressed by various authors (Link et al. 1999; Martin et al. 2000). However, one must also note that such effects of labelling are undoubtedly shaped and biased through the influence of the media (Dubugras et al. 2011) or by socio-cultural characteristics (Abdullah & Brown, 2011; Hengartner et al. 2012). Stigma is per definition deeply embedded and entrenched with different socio-cultural characteristics, beliefs and values. "
    Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 07/2012; 22(3):1-6. DOI:10.1017/S2045796012000376 · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The media are often identified as partially responsible for increasing the stigma of mental illness through their negatively focused representations. For many years, training programs have educated journalists on how to report on mental illness to reduce stigma. This purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of reading a positive, neutral or a negative journalism article that discusses mental illness. Consenting adult participants were randomly assigned to read one of three published articles about recovery from mental illness, a dysfunctional public mental health system, or dental hygiene. The participants completed measures immediately before and after the intervention; the measures administered evaluated stigmatizing and affirming attitudes toward people with mental illness. Public stigma was assessed using the nine-item Attribution Questionnaire and the Stigma Through Knowledge Test (STKT). The STKT is a measure of mental illness stigma less susceptible to the impact of social desirability. Affirming attitudes represent public perceptions about recovery, empowerment, and self-determination, indicated as important to accepting and including people with psychiatric disabilities into society. Significant differences were observed between the articles on recovery and dysfunctional public mental health system, as well as the control condition, on the measures of stigma and affirming attitudes. The recovery article reduced stigma and increased affirming attitudes, whereas the dysfunctional public mental health system article increased stigma and decreased affirming attitudes. Not all journalistic stories have positive effects on attitudes about mental illness.
    The Journal of nervous and mental disease 03/2013; 201(3):179-82. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182848c24 · 1.69 Impact Factor