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  • 1.
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    A forgotten genre? Research on media portrayal of mental illness – a meta review2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Relation to the relevant division:

    The science documentary represents a special format for framing and portraying scientific knowledge. In relation to traditional news media, the science documentary is uniquely placed to offer the audience a perspective with depth, breadth and nuance. Despite this, rather little attention has been devoted to this media genre with regard to the area of mental illness.

    Research question:

    In what ways is the science documentary as a particular media genre represented and discussed when the research field of media portrayal of mental illness is framed and described?

    Theoretical background

    The meta review conducted has from a constructivist perspective attempted to investigate how the research field of media portrayal of mental illness is discussed and defined. Literature reviews present the research within a defined field, making visible different focuses and theoretical/methodological approaches and relating these to each other – the field is discursively “framed”.

    Methodological approach

    Narrative literature review

    Analytical focus

    To what extent are science documentaries stated and studied as a particular format for the presentation of issues related to mental illness?

    Are there – based on the studies presented in the overviews – any crucial differences in the way of presenting mental illness? What characterizes the science documentaries as a framing for the thematic content in question?

  • 2.
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Politikens medialisering: Medier som aktör och arena för politisk kommunikation2015In: Vinklade budskap: perspektiv på politisk kommunikation / [ed] Hans Bengtsson, Halmstad: Högskolan i Halmstad , 2015, p. 87-103Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Hallén, Malin
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Jormfeldt, Henrika
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Covering Mental Illness – Journalistic Views and Perspectives on Scientific Uncertainty and Social Stigma in News Media2016In: ECREA 2016 Abstract Book, Prague: Czech-In , 2016, p. 573-573Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The news media are one of the most important public sources of information on psychiatric disorders. However, research on news media content has established that journalistic coverage of mental illness is largely characterized by inaccuracies, exaggerations, and misinformation. Studies consistently show that both entertainment and news media provide overwhelmingly dramatic and distorted images of mental illness that emphasize dangerousness, criminality and unpredictability. According to previous research, newspapers might even contribute to mental illness stigma through negative news content. For example, insufficient stories on recovery may promote the belief that mental illness cannot be treated effectively. Also, news media can contribute to the maintaining of mental illness stigma by negative portrayals of individuals with these illnesses, making them vulnerable to social rejection and discrimination. Research on journalistic coverage of mental illness has also problematized the tendency to use incorrect or inappropriate language, thus devaluing the degree of scientific accuracy (for example, the incorrect or careless use of psychiatric terms). There is also a significant tendency to overestimate the explanatory value of genetics regarding the causes of mental illnesses and methods of treatment. There is a need for more research on how news about mental illness is produced, for example, what resources reporters use in covering stories and how reporters select, frame, and develop stories. Further, little information exists on how journalists overcome barriers to quality health reporting, for example, lack of time, lack of space, and commercialism. This paper analyzes journalistic views and perspectives regarding mental illness and the news media coverage of issues regarding mental illness. In particular, challenges in reporting scientific issues such as causes of mental disorders and their treatments will be focused. This study is based on qualitative semi-structured interviews with 8 journalists from Swedish metropolitan newspapers. The interview protocol served the function of “wide” questions for the purposes of allowing respondents to generate their own key terms. The journalists were chosen based on a newspaper article database search (focusing mental health issues), and the most frequent journalists in the article sample were contacted by email. The interviews were conducted by phone between February and March 2016 and were audio recorded. The journalists interviewed were initially asked to reflect upon different issues regarding mental illness; possible causes, different diagnosis, chances of recovery etc. Thereafter the interview focused the journalists view on media coverage of mental illness with special focus on news media, eg perspectives/bias in the journalistic representations, absent theories/approaches, choice of sources, strategies for research, journalistic work routines and procedures, most difficult challenges and journalistic responsibilities. Finally, they were asked to reflect upon possible changes in public attitudes and opinions regarding mental illness over the last few decades and the potential role of the news media in such a development.

  • 4.
    Jormfeldt, Henrika
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health promotion and disease prevention.
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Experiences of housing support in everyday life for persons with schizophrenia and the role of the media from a societal perspective2016In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 11, article id 30571Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The mental health-care system in Sweden, as in many other counties, has its main focus on the reduction of psychiatric symptoms and the prevention of relapses. People diagnosed with schizophrenia often have significant health issues and experience reduced well-being in everyday life. The social imaginary of mental illness as an imbalance of the brain has implications concerning general attitudes in society. The news media are an important source of information on psychiatric disorders and have an important role in cultivating public perceptions and stigma. News media can contribute to the mental illness stigma and place individuals with mental illnesses at risk of not receiving adequate care and support.

    The aim of this preliminary study was to describe users’ experiences of housing support in everyday life.

    Results: The results revealed three themes of housing support, which were needed, but frequently insufficiently fulfilled in the municipality. The three themes were: ‘‘Support to Practice Healthy Routines in Daily Life,’’ ‘‘Support to Shape Meaningful Contents in Everyday Life,’’ and ‘‘Support to Meet Needs of Integrity and Respect.’’

    Conclusions: The findings support previous studies arguing that current health care and housing support fails to meet basic needs and may lead to significant and unnecessary health risks. Further investigation is needed regarding the links between attitudes to mental illness in society and political and financial principles for health care and housing support for persons with schizophrenia. Further research is needed regarding the role of the media in policymaking concerning health promotion interventions for people diagnosed with schizophrenia. © 2016 H. Jormfeldt & M. Hallén.

  • 5.
    Liljeqvist, Mattias
    et al.
    Psychiatry of Halland, Halmstad, Sweden.
    Kling, Sara
    Psychiatry of Halland, Halmstad, Sweden.
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Jormfeldt, Henrika
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Health and Nursing.
    Swedish Mental Health Nurses’ Experiences of Portrayals of Mental Illness in Public Media2019In: Issues in Mental Health Nursing, ISSN 0161-2840, E-ISSN 1096-4673Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    News reporting about mental illness lack perspectives of the mentally ill themselves and it isalmost exclusively psychiatrists who are accessed when healthcare staff is consulted. The perspectiveof mental health nurses might contribute to the public understanding of mental illness. Thepurpose of this study was to describe mental health nurses’ experiences of how mental illness isportrayed in media. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with qualified mental healthnurses. A qualitative content analysis resulted in three categories: Negative portrayals of mental illness,Inconclusive images of mental illness and Biased dissemination of different perspectives. Theconclusion of this study is that mental health nurses experience media portrayals of mental illnessas negative and misleading with too much emphasis on the medical perspective while a holisticmental health nursing perspective is heavily obscured. Mental health nurses need to take a moreprominent role in public reporting on mental health to resolve the current lack of relevant factsregarding mental illness. Further research is needed regarding portrayals of mental illness in socialmedia and how the current lack of perspectives affects public perceptions of mental illness. Inaddition, further studies regarding the viewpoints of journalists reporting on mental illnessare required. © 2019 The Author(s).

  • 6.
    Nilsson, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Center for Social Analysis (CESAM), Centre for Studies of Political Science, Communication and Media (CPKM), Media and Communication Science.
    Att förklara människan: Diskurser i populärvetenskapliga TV-program2009Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The principle aim of the study is to describe, analyze and problemize the ways in which television science documentaries (within a public service context) discursively represent scientific theories, research results and conclusions about the origins of human nature and the causes of human behavior. The study covers 25 programs broadcasted by SVT and UR during a period of four years,2002-2005 , and 12 additional programs are used as a basis for discussion. Most of the programs included in the study are productions purchased mainly from BBC Science. Thus, managing editors, producers and presenters were interviewed for the purpose of illuminating quality judgements and purchasing criteria. A five stage-model of critical discourse analysis has inspired the method which emphasizes the network of communicative practices in which the media text and representation are embedded. That includes media genre, production and narrative conventions as well as the wider historical, social and political/ideological context and discourse practices of which the issues represented are a part. The critical discourse analysis has been complemented by ideas about different documentary modes of representation or basic ways of organizing documentary texts in relation to certain recurrent features or conventions. In the analysis these modes have been applied to understand the degree of transparency and editorial presence and visibility in the science documentaries. The importance of the discourses presented is related to their more applied meanings. When certain descriptions, explanations and understandings of alleged human “basics” gain priority, it may affect the possibilities to define and handle very concrete social issues in a way that is inconsistent with this fundamental perspective. Thus, the ideological function of the science documentaries (as public service-program and educational media) deserves serious attention.

  • 7.
    Nilsson, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Center for Social Analysis (CESAM).
    Mediernas makt över tanken2004In: Medierna och demokratin / [ed] Lars Nord & Jesper Strömbäck, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2004, p. 343-366Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 8.
    Nilsson, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS), Center for Social Analysis (CESAM).
    Politikens medialisering: Massmedier som aktör och arena för politisk kommunikation2001In: Politisk kommunikation och demokrati / [ed] Hans Bengtsson, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2001, p. 139-171Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Sundin, Ebba
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Andersson, Linus
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Danielsson, Martin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Local Images of Health and Lifestyle: Free Newspapers, Community-construction and the “Healthy City”2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Local free newspapers and magazines have become an integrated part of urban life. They are no longer restricted to large cities and in an age of declining readership in traditional press, these publications are sometimes the only outlet that reaches the general population. This makes them interesting both in terms of media economy (the hyper-local as the only viable business model for print journalism), and in terms of the construction of community. Still, they are often an overlooked phenomenon in media and communication studies.

    This paper takes its departure from the project “Healthy Cities”, a movement developed by WHO with the purpose to include health-related issues in the political, economic and social agenda. In this movement, WHO acknowledges media’s role for promoting health images from a local perspective. The paper will contribute to the research field of local media’s role for their audiences in terms of shaping ideas of being part of ”the good life”. From this perspective, media have an important function in individuals’ sense of belonging and well-being.

    In recent years, the local media landscape in Sweden has changed. The mainstream journalism has been somewhat reduced, due to financial cutbacks. In the same time, there is a new pattern of free local newspapers and magazines, distributed within communities, and with clear ambitions to promote “the good life” within the geographical range of distribution. Since changes of mainstream media have weakened the traditional concept of media closeness, it is of importance to study the new and innovative media paths to connect individuals within communities (e.g. smaller towns) in order to understand how these work for individuals’ sense of belonging and especially related to issues of health, lifestyles and well-being.

    In this paper we would like to take the opportunity to share the outlines for a research project on local free-of-charge media in the Swedish town Halmstad, that is one of the 1400 European town and city members in the “Healthy City” project.

     We present some preliminary findings from four newspapers and magazines that are giving much attention to promote the image of “the good life” through articles about health, lifestyles and well-being.

     The research project is part of an initiative to chart contemporary urban town living through an interdisciplinary research program that uses a community studies approach, where the aim of the present study is to understand the role that the free newspapers (and similar media outlets) play in representing and making sense of notions such as “health”, “lifestyle” and ”well-being” in Halmstad.

  • 10.
    Taubner, Helena
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).
    Success Stories – Narrative Types in Swedish Journalistic Newspaper Articles about Living with AphasiaManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Taubner, Helena
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Wengelin, Åsa
    Department of Swedish, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Signs of aphasia: Online identity and stigma management in post-stroke aphasia2017In: Cyberpsychology : Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, ISSN 1802-7962, E-ISSN 1802-7962, Vol. 11, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aimed to investigate online strategies for re-negotiating identity, in terms of stigma management, developed by working-age Swedish Internet users with post-stroke aphasia, i.e., acquired language impairment caused by brain injury. Interviews were conducted with nine individuals (aged 26-61, three men and six women) with post-stroke aphasia. In addition, a total of 1,581 screenshots of online posts (e.g., photos, videos, text, emoticons) created by the same participants were collected. Drawing on social semiotics (specifically the three dimensions of online communication mentioned by Kress (2003), i.e., composition, content and context) and Goffman’s theory of stigma (1963, specifically the concepts of stigma management and passing), qualitative thematic analysis was performed. Regarding composition, three themes emerged: Relying on others or technology, Beyond speaking and writing, and Controlling speed and timing. The participants rarely posted content about aphasia, but some of them used the Internet to raise awareness. Different online contexts had different meaning to the participants in terms of identity. Being open about the aphasia in one forum did not imply the same behaviour in another forum (e.g., dating sites). For the participants to pass (Goffman, 1963), should they want to, they needed to control all three dimensions. If the context or the composition revealed the stigma, controlling the content was not enough to pass. The multimodality of the Internet enabled the participants to manage their stigma in a variety of ways and to choose whether to be perceived as persons with aphasia or not. © 2017, Masaryk University. All rights reserved.

  • 12.
    Taubner, Helena
    et al.
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Hallén, Malin
    Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), The Wigforss Group.
    Wengelin, Åsa
    Department of Swedish, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Still the same? – Self-identity dilemmas when living with post-stroke aphasia in a digitalised society2019In: Aphasiology, ISSN 0268-7038, E-ISSN 1464-5041Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Self-identity construction through “stories of self” is highly relevant for people with aphasia, not only because the onset entails a “biographical disruption” but also since their ability to keep their “stories of self” going is reduced. Three dilemmas (constancy/change, sameness/difference and agency/dependency) are known to be central to identity. In a digitalised society like Sweden, self-identity construction, including the navigation of these dilemmas, takes place both online and offline. Nevertheless, research combining aphasia, identity and online issues is scarce.

    Aim: This qualitative study aims, in terms identity dilemmas, to investigate self-identity construction in working-age persons living with post-stroke aphasia in a digitalised society (i.e. Sweden). Are the dilemmas relevant to the participants, and if so, how do they navigate them online and offline?

    Methods and Procedures: Nine individuals (three men and six women, aged 24–54 at onset) with mild or moderate post-stroke aphasia participated. The data comprises nine individual audio-recorded interviews and 1,581 screenshots from online observations. Qualitative analyses were performed (vertically and horizontally), combining inductive and deductive approaches.

    Outcomes and Results: All three dilemmas are relevant to the participants. They construct their self-identity as both the same as they were pre-stroke and changed. They are both the same and different in relation to other stroke survivors (with or without aphasia), i.e. both “disabled” and “normal”. They display both dependency and agency. Thus, they navigate the dilemmas by constantly negotiating what to include in their stories of self. In addition, telling one story of self offline does not imply telling the same story online.

    Conclusion: The dilemmas are intertwined and highly relevant to the participants. Offline and online settings evoke different ways for them to navigate the dilemmas. Increased awareness of the possible struggle with self-identity dilemmas in people with aphasia, and the possible difference between their online and offline self-identities, should be of value to family members, clinicians and researchers. Further research based on a larger sample is suggested.

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