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Health Commun. 2014;29(1):13-22. doi: 10.1080/10410236.2012.714346. Epub 2013 Jan 28.

The motives for and consequences of viewing television medical dramas.

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  • 1a Department of Communication , Cornell University.


Although television medical dramas have been popular for a long time and have delivered health- and medical-related information to audiences, few studies have focused on audience's view. This study explores motives for and consequences of viewing medical dramas from the uses and gratifications (U&G) perspective. A survey identified college students' motives toward medical drama viewing and the relationship of the motives with individuals' health information orientation, audience activity (selectivity, attention, involvement), and their use of health information learned from the dramas. Although viewers' primary motive for viewing medical drama was not to gather health information, only health information motive, among all motives, directly predicted use of health information from medical dramas. Viewers' entertainment-related motives toward medical drama viewing indirectly and positively predicted use of information in the dramas via involvement with those dramas, and indirectly and negatively via attention to the story in those dramas. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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