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Analysis of print news media framing of ketamine treatment in the United States and Canada from 2000 to 2015


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Zhang, MW, Hong, YX, Hussain, SF, Harris, K ORCID: 0000-0002-1199-2856 and Ho, RC 2017 , 'Analysis of print news media framing of ketamine treatment in the United States and Canada from 2000 to 2015' , PloS one, vol. 12, no. 3 , pp. 1-13 , doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173202.

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Objectives:There are multifaceted views on the use of ketamine, a potentially addictive substance, totreat mental health problems. The past 15 years have seen growing media coverage of ketaminefor medical and other purposes. This study examined the print news media coverageof medical and other uses of ketamine in North America to determine orientations and trendsover time.Methods:Print newspaper coverage of ketamine from 2000 to 2015 was reviewed, resulting in 43 printnews articles from 28 North American newspapers. A 55-item structured coding instrumentwas applied to assess news reports of ketamine. Items captured negative and positiveaspects, therapeutic use of ketamine, and adverse side effects. Chi-squares tested forchanges in trends over time.Results:In the 15-year reviewed period, the three most frequent themes related to ketamine were:abuse (68.2%), legal status (34.1%), and clinical use in anesthesia (31.8%). There was significantchange in trends during two periods (2000–2007 and 2008–2015). In 2008–2015,print news media articles were significantly more likely to encourage clinical use of ketamineto treat depression (p = 0.002), to treat treatment resistant depression (p = 0.043), and toclaim that ketamine is more effective than conventional antidepressants (p = 0.043).Conclusions:Our review found consistent positive changes in the portrayals of ketamine by the print newsmedia as a therapeutic antidepressant that mirror the recent scientific publications. These changes in news media reporting might influence the popularity of ketamine use to treat clinicaldepression. Guidance is required for journalists on objective reporting of medicalresearch findings, including limitations of current research evidence and potential risks ofketamine.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Zhang, MW and Hong, YX and Hussain, SF and Harris, K and Ho, RC
Keywords: ketamine, research ethiccs, news, depression, treatment, information
Journal or Publication Title: PloS one
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI / ID Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173202
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Zhang et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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