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

articles on the broader community and residents/families," Drs Miller and Tyler write. Many of the neutral articles covered financing and business/property issues.

Negative News More Likely to Make the Front Page

Negative articles involving negligence/fraud were more likely to be found on the front page, compared to positive or neutral articles. "Editorial decisions about the placement of such articles make sense from a business perspective to the extent that negative, sensationalistic coverage sells newspapers," according to the authors.

Other negative stores were related to natural disastersparticularly to several high-profile incidents in which nursing home residents endangered by Gulf Coast hurricanes. Many of the positive stories were related to local quality-improvement initiativesparticularly ongoing "culture change" efforts seeking to make nursing homes more home-like environments.

The results draw attention to the overall negative depictions of nursing homes found in U.S. newspapers. Such negative coverage has had a significant impact on public perceptions of nursing homes and the nursing home industry, Drs Miller and Tyler believe.

They also think that negative media coverage has probably influenced consumer behaviorespecially at a time of increasing competition from "alternative care sources with more robust reputations," such as home- and community-based care and assisted living. Drs Miller and Tyler suggest that nursing homes and the nursing home industry may want to develop "more effective media strategies," highlighting the culture change movement and other innovations to improve care and quality of life for nursing home residents.


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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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