A two-year cross-sectional study on the information about schizophrenia divulged by a prestigious daily newspaper.
ABSTRACT 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.
- SourceAvailable from: Michael Pascal HengartnerEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences 07/2012; · 3.36 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. · 1.81 Impact Factor