ERIC Number: ED217438
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Audience Perceptions of the Performance of Television Doctors and Nurses in the Patient Relationship Compared to the Performance of Those in Real Life.
Jeffers, Dennis W.; Meiss, Guy T.
A study investigated the impact that the portrayal of doctors and nurses on television had on the expectations of viewers, particularly on communication within the doctor-patient relationship. Approximately 200 adults responded to telephone interview questions about their television viewing habits, their information-seeking behavior regarding medical issues, their perceptions of the quality of television-provided medical information, and their evaluations of physicians in general. They also responded to questions concerning the differences in the behavior of real doctors and nurses and those portrayed on television. Results showed agreement among respondents that television doctors were more friendly, put patients more at ease, showed more interest, were more understanding, and offered more information than their real-life counterparts. For nurses, however, the findings were nearly the opposite, with real nurses outperforming their television counterparts in friendliness, putting patients at ease, showing interest, and understanding. Nurses on television were thought to outperform real nurses in offering information more freely. The findings suggest that audiences have distinct perceptions of television characters in relation to their real-life counterparts, which may create unrealistic expectations of those in many professions, including the medical profession. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Response; Reality
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).