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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Coverage of Jade Goody's cervical cancer in UK newspapers: A missed opportunity for health promotion?
Author(s): Hunt, Kate
Hilton, Shona
Keywords: Papillomavirus Vaccines
vaccine initiation
cervical cancer
Human Papilloma Virus
Cervical Cancer Screening
Human Papilloma Virus Infection
Cervical Screening
Issue Date: 24-Jun-2010
Citation: Hunt K & Hilton S (2010) Coverage of Jade Goody's cervical cancer in UK newspapers: A missed opportunity for health promotion?. BMC Public Health, 10, Art. No.: 368.
Abstract: Background. It has been claimed that publicity surrounding popular celebrity Jade Goody's experience of cervical cancer will raise awareness about the disease. This study examines the content of newspaper articles covering her illness to consider whether 'mobilising information' which could encourage women to adopt risk-reducing and health promoting behaviours has been included. Methods. Content analysis of 15 national newspapers published between August 2008 and April 2009. Findings. In the extensive coverage of Goody's illness (527 articles in the 7 months of study) few newspaper articles included information that might make women more aware of the signs and symptoms or risk factors for the disease, or discussed the role of the human papilloma virus (HPV) and the recently introduced HPV vaccination programme to reduce the future incidence of cervical cancer. For example, less than 5% of articles mentioned well-known risk-factors for cervical cancer and less than 8% gave any information about HPV. The 'human interest' aspects of Goody's illness (her treatment, the spread of her disease in later months, her wedding, and her preparations for her children's future) were more extensively covered. Conclusions. Newspaper coverage of Goody's illness has tended not to include factual or educational information that could mobilise or inform women, or help them to recognise early symptoms. However, the focus on personal tragedy may encourage women to be receptive to HPV vaccination or screening if her story acts as a reminder that cervical cancer can be a devastating and fatal disease in the longer term.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-368
Rights: © Hilton and Hunt; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010 This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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