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Revista científica ciencias de la salud

versión On-line ISSN 2664-2891


BOGADO, Cecilia et al. Mental Health News during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A 3-year analysis in Paraguay. Rev. cient. cienc. salud [online]. 2024, vol.6, e6130.  Epub 30-Ene-2024. ISSN 2664-2891.

Introduction. The connection between news sources and the connotation of mental health articles in Paraguay during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020-2023) significantly impacted public opinion about mental health. Objective. This study analyzed news on mental health in Paraguay in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Material and methods. A descriptive retrospective study of all news articles on mental health published in the three primary newspapers of the country between May 2020 and May 2023 was conducted. The keywords were depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and mental health issues. Results. A total of 534 news were examined, 39.5% published by La Nación newspaper, 33.1% in 2023, and in 88.4% the author's identity and gender were not specified. Of the writing characteristics, 99.8% were written in the third person, 62.7% had a human-interest context, 48.5% had a neutral connotation, 65.7% focused on health and well-being, and 7.5% written by health experts. The year of publication was statistically associated to connotation (p=0.003) and context (p<0.001). Conclusion. The media has paid significant attention to mental health. Despite the objectivity provided by third-person narration, problems arise because of a lack of author identification. To encourage balanced and non-polarized reporting, it is crucial to incorporate expert voices and promote the framing of mental health stories as “human interest”.

Palabras clave : mental health; news; newspaper article; COVID-19; Paraguay.

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