208630 Internet information seeking behavior of television medical drama viewers

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:00 AM

Kathy Le, MPH , Hollywood, Health & Society, USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, Beverly Hills, CA
Michelle Cantu, MPH , Clinical and Community Health Programs, California Family Health Council, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Varian Brandon , National Center for Health Marketing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Brooke Hardison Wang, MPH , Press Office, The National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Michael Miller, MPH, MS , Press Office, The National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD
Grace Huang, MPH , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA
According to the 2005 Porter Novelli Healthstyles data, six out of ten (58%) regular primetime drama/comedy viewers report learning something new about a health issue or disease from a TV show. Results from several studies have shown that one primary source for health information is television (2005 Porter Novelli Healhstyles; Brodie et al., 2001; Kennedy et al., 2003; Shard et al., 1996).

Television networks have increasingly moved towards interactive media platforms using the Internet. Recognizing the impact of health storylines in television shows, the Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, extended their outreach by providing informational Web links to a television program's Web site.

During the 2006-2007 television season, HH&S collaborated with the FOX network and posted an average of six health-related Web links following the airing of each House episode onto FOX's House Web site. We will present an evaluation that shows the impact of television on viewers' Internet information seeking behavior. Our research suggests that television increased Web traffic to informational links on the House Web site. In addition, our results show that viewers use the Internet while an episode is airing to seek information on health topics.

Finally, we will show that a contribution can be made to the new and innovative ways for viewers to access health information beyond television by collaborating with television networks to supplement media resources with credible health information.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a successful health communication model that uses entertainment education to convey key public health messages in prime-time television. 2. Identify priority health topics often incorporated into television media. 3. Describe an evaluation that looks at new media usage for public health information.

Keywords: Health Communications, Internet

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in all aspects of the research: planning, execution and evaluation of results.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.