Efficacy of Print Media Risk Communication About Antibiotic Resistance
DeSilva, Malini. “Efficacy of Print Media Risk Communication About Antibiotic Resistance”, Boston College, 2003. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/427.
The growing threat of antibiotic resistance makes it extremely important that citizens be informed about the risks posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and measures with which they can reduce these risks. The print media are major sources of such information for members of the public. In the present study, articles from major newspapers in the United States and Canada appearing between 1998 and 2002 were surveyed to determine the extent to which mention was made of antibiotic resistance and the risks associated with antibiotic resistance, the contextual precision with which this information was communicated, and the extent to which information was presented about causes, and risk-reduction measures, associated with antibiotic resistance. The majority of articles surveyed mentioned antibiotic resistance, but most failed to mention associated risks (i.e., the risk of illness and/or the risk of mortality). Articles that did report risks, did so only at a low level of contextual precision. A relatively low percentage of articles mentioned causes of antibiotic resistance, and even fewer mentioned risk reduction measures. These findings suggest that the print media could improve the efficacy with which they inform the public about issues associated with antibiotic resistance.