How is communication of vaccines in traditional media: a systematic review Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2019

start page

  • 34

end page

  • 43

issue

  • 1

volume

  • 139

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 1757-9139

abstract

  • Aim: Taking into account that a key determinant in public approval of vaccinations is how the media constructs and frames messages about vaccination programmes, our aim is to review communication studies exploring media coverage of vaccines within traditional media venues. Methods: Using a registered protocol (PROSPERO: 42017072849), a systematic review was conducted that searched in three international electronic databases (PubMed, Scopus, and the International Bibliography of Social Science) for articles published between 2007 and 2017 following content-analysis methods. The characteristics and outcomes were systematically identified and described. The search yielded 24 eligible studies that were further analysed in the review. Results: Media coverage of vaccines has been largely studied during the last decade. Findings revealed that 62% (n = 15) of studies analysed the human papillomavirus vaccine, 87% (n = 21) examined newspapers, and 62% (n = 15) examined North American media. In relation to media content analyses, 75% found negative messages on vaccines and 83% identified a lack of accurate information. Conclusions: This systematic review suggests an agenda for further research. There is a significant need to analyse other types of traditional media beyond newspapers. Future studies should focus on other geographical areas such as low-income countries and on analysing visual materials and digital media. We found that negative messages and inaccurate information are common in media coverage on vaccines; therefore, further research focusing on these topics is needed. Officials in public health organizations should develop a close collaboration with the media to improve public communication on vaccines.

keywords

  • vaccination; mass media; newspapers; public health; journalism; print news coverage; hpv vaccine; newspaper coverage; cervical-cancer; immunization; health; risk; information; resistance; boys