Since the time of global SARS-CoV-2 spread across the earth in February 2020, most of countries faced the problem of massive stress of their healthcare systems. In many cases, the structural stress was a result of incorrect allocation of medical care resources. In turn, this misallocation resulted from fear and apprehensions that superseded thorough calculations. A key role in exacerbating the healthcare sector overburdening was played by misleading information on the virus and disease caused by it. In the current paper, we study the situation in Russian healthcare system and advance recommendations how to avoid further crises.
(a) Surveying the medical personnel (231 doctors, 317 nurses and 355 ambulance medical workers of lower levels) in five hospitals and six ambulance centres in Moscow. (b) Content analysis of 3164 accounts in Russian segment of social networks (VKontakte, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Odnoklassniki); official and unofficial media (TV, informational webpages).
We revealed positive-feedback loop that threatened the sustainability of Russian care sector. The main knot was occupied by incorrect/exaggerated media coverage of COVID-19. General public scared by misinformation in media and social networks, started to panic. This negative social background undermined the productivity of a significant part of medical workers who were afraid of COVID-19 patients.
The most serious problems of Russian healthcare sector related to COVID-19 pandemic, were informational problems. The exaggerated information on COVID-19 had big negative influence upon Russian society and healthcare system, despite SARS-CoV-2 relatively low epidemiological hazard.
To assess the content of newspaper articles in 2 provinces in Canada to determine if rest or avoidance of activity is being recommended for back pain.
Inaccurate back pain beliefs in the general public may arise due to messages in the mass media. One persisting belief in Canada is that rest or activity avoidance is needed until back pain resolves.
We searched newspapers in 2 Canadian provinces via an electronic database for articles discussing back pain. Two trained raters used an article review template to indicate whether the article's main recommendation was to stay active, rest, was neutral (indicating a balance between rest and activity), or did not provide advice on level of activity during an episode of back pain.
One hundred 29 articles were identified. The primary advice provided related to level of activity during an episode of back pain was stay active in 24% of articles, whereas no articles primarily recommended rest or avoidance of activity. Sixteen percent of articles were rated as neutral, indicating the authors suggested a balance between rest and activity.
Back-pain-related newspaper articles do not carry messages that advocate rest or avoidance of activity, but rather highlight the importance of staying active during an episode or participating in exercise.
This paper presents the results of a study of the images of breast cancer in the highest circulating periodicals in the USA and Canada over a twenty year period of time. Both manifest and latent themes are noted and described. The emphasis in the manifest themes is on the medical aspects of the treatment and early detection of breast cancer. The latent themes emphasize the contrast in the ways that women with the disease, as compared to their doctors, are described. Notably, women are portrayed as being 'worried about their health' and, in particular, the most feared of 'their' diseases, breast cancer. Breast cancer is said to be caused by everything, especially women's own traitorous bodies. Women are described as isolates, as emotional and preoccupied with their sexual attractiveness. Doctors are described in contrasting ways, as moral truth-seekers, infused with rationality and intelligence. The ubiquitous causes of breast cancer are also noted. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possible implications of the gendered character of the reporting about breast cancer.
Mass media can inform health beliefs and shape cancer control behaviours. This study surveyed cancer coverage in 309 issues of Canadian women's magazines for the period 1991-1997. Magazines were selected if 1996 revenue > $10 million and circulation > 500,000; Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Flare and Homemaker's met these criteria. The volume of cancer coverage varied significantly by year and by magazine. However, coverage of specific cancers did not reflect their contribution as a cause of cancer death in Canadian women. The percentage of articles on lung cancer was lower and on breast cancer was higher than the percentage of deaths due to these cancers. All magazines had decreased coverage of lung cancer in 1997 compared to 1991. National cancer resource agencies and research initiatives on breast cancer were infrequently mentioned. These results argue for greater partnerships between the media and health educators to enhance balanced dissemination of cancer control information to Canadian women.
Quasi-experimental before-and-after design with control group.
We evaluated a back pain mass media campaign's impact on population back pain beliefs, work disability, and health utilization outcomes.
Building on previous campaigns in Australia and Scotland, a back pain mass media campaign (Don't Take it Lying Down) was implemented in Alberta, Canada. A variety of media formats were used with radio ads predominating because of budget constraints.
Changes in back pain beliefs were studied using telephone surveys of random samples from intervention and control provinces before campaign onset and afterward. The Back Beliefs Questionnaire (BBQ) was used along with specific questions about the importance of staying active. For evaluating behaviors, we extracted data from governmental and workers' compensation databases between January 1999 and July 2008. Outcomes included indicators of number of visits to health care providers, use of diagnostic imaging, and compensation claim incidence and duration. Analysis included time series analysis and ANOVA testing of the interaction between province and time.
Belief surveys were conducted with a total of 8566 subjects over the 4-year period. Changes on BBQ scores were not statistically significant, however, the proportion of subjects agreeing with the statement, "If you have back pain you should try to stay active" increased in Alberta from 56% to 63% (P = 0.008) with no change in the control group (consistently approximately 60%). No meaningful or statistically significant effects were seen on the behavioral outcomes.
A Canadian media campaign appears to have had a small impact on public beliefs specifically related to campaign messaging to stay active, but no impact was observed on health utilization or work disability outcomes. Results are likely because of the modest level of awareness achieved by the campaign and future campaigns will likely require more extensive media coverage.
Setting priorities for the funding of new anti-cancer agents is becoming increasingly complex. The funding of adjuvant trastuzumab for breast cancer has brought this dilemma to the fore. In this paper we review external factors that may influence decision-making bodies and present a case study of media response in Ontario, Canada to adjuvant trastuzumab for breast cancer.
A comprehensive search of the databases of Canadian national and local newspapers and television was performed. Articles pertaining to trastuzumab in adjuvant breast cancer as well as 17 other anti-cancer drugs and indications were retrieved. The search period was from the date when individual trial results were announced to the date funding was made available in Ontario.
During the 2.6 months between the release of the trastuzumab results to funding approval in Ontario, we identified 51 episodes of media coverage. For the 17 other drugs/indications (7 breast and 10 non-breast), the median time to funding approval was 31 months (range 14-46). Other recent major advances in oncology such as adjuvant vinorelbine/cisplatin for resected NSCLC and docetaxel for advanced prostate cancer received considerably less media attention (17 media reports for each) than trastuzumab. The median number of media reports for breast cancer drugs was 4.5 compared to 2.5 for non-breast cancer drugs (p = 0.56).
Priority-setting for novel anti-cancer agents is a complex process that tries to ensure fair use of constrained resources to fund therapies with the best evidence of clinical benefit. However, this process is subject to external factors including the influence of media, patient advocates, politicians, and industry. The data in this case study serve to illustrate the significant involvement one (or all) of these external factors may play in the debate over priority-setting.
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Using a qualitative content analysis, this paper investigates the portrayal of heart disease among men and women in 75 articles of the 20 highest circulating mass print magazines in 1991, 1996 and 2001 available in Canada and published in the United States and Canada. The majority of articles were directed at men. Whether the article focused on men or women, the depiction of heart disease tended to be gendered. For men, heart disease was described as almost inevitable and as a badge of successful manhood. Its experience and treatment were portrayed as mechanical and aggressive, as well as the result of individual lifestyle choices that could be "fixed" by the individual himself. In comparison, women's heart disease was portrayed as something of which to be ashamed, especially since diagnosis conflicts with the role of "caregiver." Women were described as ignorant, emotional victims. Moreover, women's bodies were portrayed as pathological, especially after menopause. Practical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.
Using a constructed week methodology, we analyzed media summaries for the type of health discourse (health care delivery, disease-specific prevention, lifestyle risk factors, public/environmental health disease, social determinants of health) portrayed over a 5-year period as a means of describing the context within which health staff worked to prevent heart disease in one Canadian province. The results reveal that heart disease received very little media coverage, despite provincial health data revealing it to be the leading cause of mortality, morbidity, and health care costs. Coverage of the health care system dominated the media landscape over the 5-year period. The study findings also suggest that the health discourses in the media summaries were represented as primarily thematic, rather than as episodic narratives, relieving any one level of government as entirely responsible for the health of its constituents. Media advocacy strategies may be a means to redress the imbalance of health discourses presented by the media.