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Vol 17, No 4 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-09-18

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Media image of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists. Analysis of polish weekly reviews

Anna Róża Hoss1, Rafał Styła1, Hubert Suszek1, Joachim Kowalski12, Małgorzata Grochowska1, Jakub Dąbrowski1
Psychiatria 2020;17(4):216-223.


Introduction: The image of psychiatry and psychiatrists in film, press and news media is presented in a negative way.
Psychiatrists are shown as unethical, unprofessional, ineffective and generallybringing harm to their patients, although
they are shown as better educated and more intelligent than psychologists. Existing literature on the image of psychiatrists
concerns mainly fictional characters and skips the Polish context. The aim of the study was to find out how psychiatry
and mental health experts are presented in Polish opinion weeklies.

Material and methods: An analysis of psychiatrist’simage was carried out using competent judges method. A database
of 208 articles from year 2013 was created. The articles were chosen from the magazines“Angora”, “Do Rzeczy”, “Gazeta
Polska”, “Gość Niedzielny”, “Newsweek Polska”, “Polityka”, “Sieci”, “Wprost”, using keywords related to psychiatry, psychology
and psychotherapy.Two independent judges conducted the analysis using a questionnaire created for the purpose of
this study, assessing the content of the articles on three five-step dimensions: (1) Competence, (2) Positive role, (3) Ethics.

Results: The average overall assessment of the image of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists oscillated
around the value of 3.5, indicating the neutrality of the image. No statistically significant differences were found in the
assessment of the level of competence, a positive assessment of the role and ethics between specialists. 53% of the
articles presented psychiatrists in a positive way, 40% in a neutral way, and 6% in a negative way. Among psychologists,
the image was positive in 60%, in 27% it was neutral, and in 13% - negative. In the case of psychotherapists, the frequencies
is by analogy 33%, 52% and 15%.

Conclusions: The image of psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists in the analyzed articles was positive or neutral.
There was no significant difference between representation strategies of each profession. The comparison of the obtained
results with the analyses presented in the literature shows that the image of mental health experts is systematically improving.

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