Media Content: Televised Entertainment

Popular television genres such as medical dramas, situation comedies, and daytime serials may make salient health struggles or health care situations as part of character development and story plotlines. A therapist may uncover the personal background or childhood memories of a character; emergency room doctors may treat car crash victims, operate on a patient with heart abnormalities, and deliver a baby, all during their nightly shifts; or a husband and wife may struggle with a cancer diagnosis or a depressed child. Researchers largely support that fictional programming may teach the public about diseases and medical procedures, as well as reflect cultural norms surrounding health and health care.

Entertainment television may be a particularly savvy health educator and attitude shaper. Building on transportation theory, some authors argue ...

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