Exploring the black box: framing in print coverage of antidepressants and depression from 2002 to 2006
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This study examined how print coverage of depression and antidepressants changed during the time period from 2002 to 2006 in regards to the FDA's 2004 decision to include black box warning labels on antidepressants. The methods employed were content analysis, frame analysis of The New York Times, USA Today and articles from several popular periodicals. Post-hoc analysis interviews were conducted as well to assess journalists' practices during this time period. Several framing devices such as target gender, target age, characteristics of depression, terminology, mentions of suicide/suicidality and the black box warning label, and characteristics of antidepressants were examined in the content analysis. The frame analysis elaborated and provided depth to these findings through an exploration of the frames of dangerousness present in the articles. The findings show that age played a role in coverage and that suicide/suicidality and the black box warning were mentioned more frequently during 2004 and afterward. Issues of safety and violence played out in the traditional dangers from mental disorders frame as well as introducing a new dangerousness frame-dangers from the treatment for the disorder, in this case antidepressants. Also, the findings solidify previous literature on frames of mental illness while providing a nuanced view on deviations from these frames.
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