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Health Informatics J. 2008 Dec;14(4):323-34. doi: 10.1177/1460458208096654.

A content analysis of mass media sources in relation to the MMR vaccine scare.

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  • 1Information Resources School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield Sheffield, UK.


In light of the mass media coverage that the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine received as a result of questions raised about its safety, a content analysis of mass media articles about the MMR vaccine was undertaken. The analysis examined 227 articles published in five different information sources in a 2 month period. The analysis looked at 94 content-based variables and the key attributes of these articles including word count and date of publication. Descriptive and analytical statistics relating to both article content and format were produced. The analysis showed that the content and format of articles between different information sources varied widely. These differences can be attributed to the information source in which they are published, but the variability in the content of these information sources provides a challenge to parents who were shown to be using the mass media as an information source.

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