Nurses' views on the impact of mass media on the public perception of nursing and nurse–service user interactions



Hoyle LP, Kyle RG & Mahoney C (2017) Nurses' views on the impact of mass media on the public perception of nursing and nurse–service user interactions. Journal of Research in Nursing, 22 (8), pp. 586-596.

The aim of this study was to examine nurses' views on the impact that mass media has on service users and how this affects nurse/service user interactions. Internationally, the mass media is an important source of health information for the public. Media framing therefore exerts considerable influence on the public's perceptions of healthcare professionals and services. However, it is not known how the reporting of health stories by the media impacts the work of front-line nursing staff. This is a qualitative interpretivist study using a single case study design, and includes semi-structured interviews with qualified nursing staff (n = 31) within a large hospital in the United Kingdom. There are three key themes: 'scaremongering health stories', 'negative portrayal of the nursing profession' and 'informed service users'. Nurses perceived media framing of health and healthcare services as predominantly negative. Nurses need greater awareness of how service users receive and respond to health information and how health stories are reported. Closer engagement between health journalists and nurses through 'journalist-in-residence' programmes could enable nurses and journalists to gain greater appreciation of their respective sets of knowledge to support shared and informed decision-making between service users and professionals.

health information; interactions; mass media; nurses; public perception; qualitative; UK

Journal of Research in Nursing: Volume 22, Issue 8

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online15/11/2017
Date accepted by journal15/11/2017
PublisherSAGE Publications

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Dr Louise Hoyle

Dr Louise Hoyle

Senior Lecturer in Nursing, Health Sciences Stirling