Abstract/Details

News media coverage of policies surrounding the HPV vaccine before and after Texas Governor Rick Perry's executive order, February 2006-February 2008


2010 2010

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Abstract (summary)

Objective. In June 2006, the first vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) was approved by the FDA and shortly after approval, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend the HPV vaccine for young girls. As a result of ACIP recommendations, state legislators introduced bills to mandate the vaccine. Policies related to public health issues, such as vaccination mandates, are often influenced by news coverage of these issues. News media, particularly in times of controversies, reinforce specific messages and plays an essential role in framing issues for the public. The objective of this study is to examine the quality, content, and scope of policies for the HPV vaccine before and after Texas Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating the vaccine for middle school girls.

Methods. The Lexis-Nexis database was used to identify 335 articles on HPV vaccination mandate policies that were published in U.S. newspapers from February 1, 2006 to February 2, 2008. The coding instrument captured information about article type, main news story concern, general information about HPV, HPV vaccine mandate policies, arguments for and against HPV vaccination mandates, arguments for and against the HPV vaccine, and sources of information.

Results. Most news articles (82.4%) occurred after Governor Rick Perry issued an executive order mandating the HPV vaccine. Most articles mentioned that HPV is sexually transmitted (90.7%) and linked HPV infection to cervical cancer (96.1%). Only 63.9% of the articles reported that the HPV vaccine protects against types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and 18.8% of the articles reported that the vaccine protects against genital warts. Only 18.2% of the news articles presented a balanced argument regarding mandatory HPV vaccinations, and only 39.4% of the news articles presented a balanced argument for the HPV vaccine.

Conclusions. Our study revealed that news coverage regarding mandating the HPV vaccine and issues related to the vaccine itself is biased, unbalanced, and incomplete. Since the public pays a great deal of attention to health in the media, it is essential that news stories are balanced, complete, and accurate. In order to ensure that future vaccination mandates are not covered in the same way the HPV vaccination was, public health officials, health care providers and scientists should work effectively with the media to ensure that balanced information is provided.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Behavioral psychology;
Public health;
Health education;
Mass communications
Classification
0384: Behavioral psychology
0573: Public health
0680: Health education
0708: Mass communications
Identifier / keyword
Health and environmental sciences; Communication and the arts; Education; Psychology
Title
News media coverage of policies surrounding the HPV vaccine before and after Texas Governor Rick Perry's executive order, February 2006-February 2008
Author
Bruce, Corinne
Number of pages
78
Publication year
2010
Degree date
2010
School code
0219
Source
MAI 48/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109529340
Advisor
Tiro, Jasmin A.; Caughy, Margaret O.
Committee member
Walters, Scott T.
University/institution
The University of Texas School of Public Health
Department
Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences Management
University location
United States -- Texas
Degree
M.P.H.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
1470636
ProQuest document ID
305227260
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305227260
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