5 years ago

[Images of Ageing in Health Care Magazines of the Public Health System].

Hoppe T, Hartmann-Tews I
Objectives Collective images of ageing influence attitudes towards ageing and health- related activities. The aim of this study was to explore images of ageing and old age in magazines published by public health institutions, namely health insurance companies and pharmacies. Design A standardized content analysis was conducted covering age-related articles (n=146) and accompanying photographs (n=218) of public health institutions. The stock of material comprises age-related articles of all magazines published 2012-2013 of 2 public health insurance companies (Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse: "Bleib gesund", Barmer Ersatzkasse: "Gesundheit konkret"), 2 private health insurance companies (Gothaer Versicherung: "Gothaer magazin", Deutsche Krankenversicherung: "DKV impulse") and 2 consumer magazines of pharmacies ("Apothekenumschau","Senioren Ratgeber"). Results Illness turns out to be the most often focused main theme and key issue of age-related articles. With reference to the central dimensions of somatic culture - health, body-centered performance and appearance - most of the articles focus on deficits of old age, in particular illness and decrease of performance, and thus communicate a negative image of ageing. The visual presentation of elderly people is much more positive. There are various differences in the communication of images of ageing between the 2 types of magazines, with the consumer magazines of the pharmacy covering a broader spectrum of topics, referring more often to a healthy lifestyle and prevention and communicating a more multifaceted image of old age and ageing in comparison to the membership magazines of health insurance companies. Conclusion Institutions of public health have many duties and responsibilities. One of these is to strengthen health competencies and locus of control of the population - in our case - elderly people. As images of ageing influence attitudes towards ageing and health-related activities, it seems to be sensible and of good economic sense to communicate a resource-oriented and positive image of ageing. Against the backdrop of the results of the study, there seems to be a potential to optimize age-related communication strategies of public health institutions in the magazines.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28521376

DOI: PubMed:28521376

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