Medical Doctors' Perceptions of the Media Coverage during the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Case Study in Stockholm.

Brune C, Agerholm J, Liljas A

Health Serv Insights 16 (-) 11786329231222168 [2023-12-25; online 2023-12-25]

The strain on healthcare systems including emergency departments increased substantially during the Covid-19 pandemic,negatively affecting healthcare workers and their well-being. The emotional distress experienced by healthcare staff during the pandemic was worsened by confusion and conspiracy theories that circulated in the news and online media. Reports on the pandemic and general consumption of media intensified as the public's demand for information increased. There is limited research on how doctors perceived media coverage, and how they were affected in their work. This study aimed to explore how medical doctors in emergency departments perceived the media coverage during the Covid-19 pandemic. Twelve doctors at two different emergency departments in Stockholm, Sweden, participated. Interview questions on media were asked as part of a more extensive questionnaire. Informants' responses were analysed qualitatively. The results indicate that doctors to some extent used media as a source of information, due to limited access to knowledge about the virus. Results further suggest that media coverage triggered fear of infection, caused worry and job strain. The doctors percieved that the media coverage on Covid-19 affected patient-seeking behaviour as well as the doctor-patient relationship. The findings can be relevant in preparation for future pandemics and considered in development of policy for media and emergency departments.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38152291

DOI 10.1177/11786329231222168

Crossref 10.1177/11786329231222168

pmc: PMC10752069
pii: 10.1177_11786329231222168

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