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08 May 2015

Accurate health information in TV medical drama delivers public health and wellness

copyright: istock

great deal of time and effort these days goes into making TV medical dramas both authentic and technically accurate. But it would appear that an unlooked for bonus of such detail is that these dramas - whilst being mainly entertainment vehicles- unintentionally improve health awareness in the watching public. These dramas can thus aid the current shift of focus of governments and public health practitioners to deliver Health & Wellness (aka Health & Wellbeing) which relies on the public being health aware and enabling them to take action to achieve wellness.

Stephen McGann’s essay in April's issue of Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine describes the steps taken by the writers, production team and actors of TV medical drama, Call the Midwife, to ensure medical accuracy and authenticity. Though set in the 1950s, he demonstrates that the series has raised health awareness in different populations (health promotion): in the UK (diphtheria) and in Bangladesh, by providing advice on how to depict authentic birth scenes and show safe maternal health practices.

This shift to Wellness i.e. staying healthy, is in response to the rise of chronic diseases and inequity. The aim is to empower the individual to make healthy choices and to address the social, environmental and economic factors which limit that choice. Health awareness is therefore a prerequisite for wellness.

Read more at: Handpicked and Carefully Sorted



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