Mass media health information available to young adults in the United Kingdom: (2) Television and radio

Nicola J. Gray, Judith A. Cantrill, Peter R. Noyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In order to examine health information given in television and radio broadcasts popular with young adults (15- to 24-year-olds) in the United Kingdom, three terrestrial television channels and six radio stations were surveyed over eight weeks, using methodology described previously. One hundred and eighty-seven health items were found during 54 hours of television and 58 hours of radio broadcasting. Television commonly included health information within programme storylines and advertisements; radio included advertisements and news items. Descriptions of disease treatment and states were the most common subjects on television, but radio also covered substance misuse and sexual health issues. The central nervous system was the most prevalent therapeutic area. Ninety-two television items (56.8 per cent) and 15 radio items (60.0 per cent) referred to a specific drug or medicine. The drug properties most often described were indication and formulation. Side effects were more likely to be reported on the radio, and hazards were a major issue within items about substance misuse. As with the first part of this study, which reported on health information given in the press (p180), references to contacting any professional sources for further information were rare, and certainly do not lead young consumers to expect to be questioned about the appropriateness of products when subsequently purchasing them. This study challenges community pharmacy to reconsider how it best continues to discharge its consumer protection role in an era of increasing consumer empowerment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


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