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Concept: Media


Mass media plays an important role in communicating about health research and services to patients, and in shaping public perceptions and decisions about health. Healthcare professionals also play an important role in providing patients with credible, evidence-based and up-to-date information on a wide range of health issues. This study aims to explore primary care nurses' experiences of how mass media influences frontline healthcare.

Concepts: Health care, Health care provider, United Kingdom, Media, Public relations, Mass media, Media influence, Marshall McLuhan


This exploratory work investigates the role of digital media in expanding health discourse practices in a way to transform traditional structures of agency in public health. By focusing on a sample of rare disease patient organisations as representative of contemporary health activism, this study investigates the role of digital communication in the development of (1) bottom-up sharing and co-production of health knowledge, (2) health public engagement dynamics and (3) health information pathways. Findings show that digital media affordances for patient organisations go beyond the provision of social support for patient communities; they ease one-way, two-way and crowdsourced processes of health knowledge sharing, exchange and co-production, provide personalised routes to health public engagement and bolster the emergence of varied pathways to health information where experiential knowledge and medical authority are equally valued. These forms of organisationally enabled connective action can help the surfacing of personal narratives that strengthen patient communities, the bottom-up production of health knowledge relevant to a wider public and the development of an informational and eventually cultural context that eases patients' political action.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Epidemiology, Patient, Sociology, Logic, Organization, Media


The Internet and social media have enabled the mobilization of large crowds to achieve time-critical feats, ranging from mapping crises in real time, to organizing mass rallies, to conducting search-and-rescue operations over large geographies. Despite significant success, selection bias may lead to inflated expectations of the efficacy of social mobilization for these tasks. What are the limits of social mobilization, and how reliable is it in operating at these limits? We build on recent results on the spatiotemporal structure of social and information networks to elucidate the constraints they pose on social mobilization. We use the DARPA Network Challenge as our working scenario, in which social media were used to locate 10 balloons across the United States. We conduct high-resolution simulations for referral-based crowdsourcing and obtain a statistical characterization of the population recruited, geography covered, and time to completion. Our results demonstrate that the outcome is plausible without the presence of mass media but lies at the limit of what time-critical social mobilization can achieve. Success relies critically on highly connected individuals willing to mobilize people in distant locations, overcoming the local trapping of diffusion in highly dense areas. However, even under these highly favorable conditions, the risk of unsuccessful search remains significant. These findings have implications for the design of better incentive schemes for social mobilization. They also call for caution in estimating the reliability of this capability.

Concepts: United States, Geography, Reliability, Media, Limit, Crowd, Mass media, Media bias


Conflicts fueled by popular religious mobilization have rekindled the controversy surrounding Samuel Huntington’s theory of changing international alignments in the Post-Cold War era. In The Clash of Civilizations, Huntington challenged Fukuyama’s “end of history” thesis that liberal democracy had emerged victorious out of Post-war ideological and economic rivalries. Based on a top-down analysis of the alignments of nation states, Huntington famously concluded that the axes of international geo-political conflicts had reverted to the ancient cultural divisions that had characterized most of human history. Until recently, however, the debate has had to rely more on polemics than empirical evidence. Moreover, Huntington made this prediction in 1993, before social media connected the world’s population. Do digital communications attenuate or echo the cultural, religious, and ethnic “fault lines” posited by Huntington prior to the global diffusion of social media? We revisit Huntington’s thesis using hundreds of millions of anonymized email and Twitter communications among tens of millions of worldwide users to map the global alignment of interpersonal relations. Contrary to the supposedly borderless world of cyberspace, a bottom-up analysis confirms the persistence of the eight culturally differentiated civilizations posited by Huntington, with the divisions corresponding to differences in language, religion, economic development, and spatial distance.

Concepts: Sociology, Culture, Communication, Media, Civilization, Sociocultural evolution, Samuel P. Huntington, The End of History and the Last Man


The goal of this study was to investigate whether exposure to sexual reality television content and Internet pornography (IP) is related to sexual self-presentation on social media. Based on a two-wave panel survey among 1,765 adolescents aged 13-17 years, we found that watching sexual reality television content stimulated adolescents to produce and distribute sexual images of themselves on social media. In turn, sexual self-presentation on social media led adolescents to watch sexual reality television content more frequently. These relationships were similar among boys and girls. No reciprocal relationship between exposure to IP and boys' and girls' sexual self-presentation on social media was found. The results suggest that sexual content in mainstream mass media may predict adolescents' sexually oriented behavior on social media and vice versa. Moreover, adolescents seem to differentiate between types of sexual content (i.e., mainstream versus more explicit sexual content) when incorporating sexual media content in their sexual behavior online.

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, Sociology, Human sexual behavior, Media, Mass media, Television, British Household Panel Survey, Mainstream


This multi-site project extended course dissemination of the 10-session Behavioral Management of Auditory Hallucinations Course to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health outpatient settings. The VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) model and Rogers' theory of diffusion of innovations served as the theoretical framework. The course was taught to mental health professionals using teleconferencing, electronic media, and monthly conference calls across 24 VA mental health outpatient sites. Twenty course leaders provided feedback. One hundred percent reported being better able to communicate with patients about their voices and 96% reported improved understanding of the voice-hearing experience. Thirty-three course participants provided feedback. Ninety-four percent would recommend the course, 85% reported being better able to communicate with staff about their voices, and 66% reported being better able to manage their voices. Facilitators and barriers to course implementation are described. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, xx(x), xx-xx.].

Concepts: Psychology, Health, Education, Mental health, Illness, Media, Innovation, Conference call


This study examined the mass media and personal characteristics leading to health communication inequality as well as the role of certain factors in health communication’s mass media process. Using both sociodemographic variables and Maletzke’s model as a basis, we investigated the relationship between selected components of the mass communication process, the receiving of reliable health information as a result of health communication, and the condition of its use. The study involved 1853 people in Turkey and was structured in two parts. The first part dealt with questions regarding sociodemographic characteristics, the use of the mass media and the public’s ability to obtain health information from it, the public’s perception of the trustworthiness of health information, and the state of translating this information into health-promoting behaviours. In the second part, questions related to the mass communication process were posed using a five-point Likert scale. This section tried to establish structural equation modelling using the judgements prepared on the basis of the mass media model. Through this study, it has been observed that sociodemographic factors such as education and age affect individuals' use of and access to communication channels; individuals' trust in and selection of health information from the programme content and their changing health behaviours (as a result of the health information) are related to both their perception of the mass communication process and to sociodemographic factors, but are more strongly related to the former.

Concepts: Information, Communication, Media, Public relations, Mass media, Marshall McLuhan, Media studies, Communication studies


Mass media communications are an important component of comprehensive interventions to address population levels of overweight and obesity, yet we have little understanding of the effective characteristics of specific advertisements (ads) on this topic. This study aimed to quantitatively test audience reactions to existing adult-focused public health television ads addressing overweight and obesity to determine which ads have the highest levels of message acceptance, argument strength, personalised perceived effectiveness and negative emotional impact.

Concepts: Health care, Psychology, Cancer, Advertising, Media, Public relations, Mass media, Broadcasting


Advocacy informed by scientific evidence is necessary to influence policy and planning to address physical inactivity. The mass media is a key arena for this advocacy. This study investigated the perceptions and practices of news media professionals reporting physical activity and sedentariness to inform strategic communication about these issues.

Concepts: Communication, Media, Mass media, Journalism, Marshall McLuhan, Media studies, News media, Communication studies


The Western Australian (WA) ‘LiveLighter’ (LL) mass media campaign ran during June-August and September-October 2012. The principal campaign ad graphically depicts visceral fat of an overweight individual (‘why’ change message), whereas supporting ads demonstrate simple changes to increase activity and eat healthier (‘how’ to change message). Cross-sectional surveys among population samples aged 25-49 were undertaken pre-campaign (N = 2012) and following the two media waves (N = 2005 and N = 2009) in the intervention (WA) and comparison state (Victoria) to estimate the population impact of LL. Campaign awareness was 54% after the first media wave and overweight adults were more likely to recall LL and perceive it as personally relevant. Recall was also higher among parents, but equal between socio-economic groups. The ‘why’ message about health-harms of overweight rated higher than ‘how’ messages about lifestyle change, on perceived message effectiveness which is predictive of health-related intention and behaviour change. State-by-time interactions showed population-level increases in self-referent thoughts about the health-harms of overweight (P < 0.05) and physical activity intentions (P < 0.05). Endorsement of stereotypes of overweight individuals did not increase after LL aired. LL was associated with some population-level improvements in proximal and intermediate markers of campaign impact. However, sustained campaign activity will be needed to impact behaviour.

Concepts: Nutrition, Mind, Media, Art, Mass media, Journalism, Marshall McLuhan, News media