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In media coverage of nursing homes, negative stories predominate
Date:12/13/2012

Philadelphia, Pa. (December 13, 2012) Analysis of media portrayals of nursing homes finds that negative stories outnumber positive stories by five to one, reports a study in the December issue of Medical Care. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part ofWolters Kluwer Health.

Negative news coverage of nursing homes may shape public perceptions and consumer care choices, suggest Edward Alan Miller, PhD, MPA, of University of Massachusetts Boston and Denise A. Tyler, PhD, of Brown University. They write, "Our findings suggest that negative reporting predominates and its impact on public perceptions and government decision making may be reinforced by its prominence and focus on industry interests/behavior."

News Stories Paint Negative Picture of Nursing Homes

Drs Miller and Tyler performed a database search to identify more than 1,500 articles related to nursing homes, published in four major American newspapers between 1999 and 2008. Using a standardized approach, they categorized the tone of each news story as positive, negative, or neutral. The characteristics of articles in the three categories were analyzed as well.

"Most articles were negative or neutral; comparatively few were positive," Drs Miller and Tyler write. Overall, 49.2 percent of articles were classified as negative and 10.5 percent as positive. The remaining 40.3 percent were categorized as neutral in tone.

There were some prominent differences in the content of positive versus negative or neutral articles. Positive articles were more likely to discuss the quality of nursing home care, while negative articles were often about cases involving negligence or fraud.

"Negative articles were more likely to focus on the nursing home industry; positive
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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