Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Media Preference and Use Pattern among Diabetes Patients in Enugu State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Media Preference and Use Pattern among Diabetes Patients in Enugu State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Introduction

Over the years, diabetes has proved to be one of the dangerous diseases globally. Apart from the health danger that comes with the disease, it is very common and efforts at stemming its spread have not significantly achieved the desired result. Diabetes describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both (WHO 2015). According to Chinenye [1] patients with high blood sugar are likely to experience polyuria (frequent urination), and this eventually makes them become increasingly thirsty (polydipsia) and hungry (polyphagia).

The World Health Organization [2] in its report on diabetes revealed that the ailment caused 1.5 million deaths in 2012 and that higher-than-optimal blood glucose caused the death of an additional 2.2 million because of increased risks of cardiovascular and other diseases. The World Health Organization adds that many of these deaths (43%) took place under the age of 70 and that in 2014, 422 million people in the world had diabetes - a prevalence of 8.5% among the adult population. WHO regrets thus: 'The prevalence of diabetes has been steadily increasing for the past 3 decades and is growing most rapidly in low- and middle-income countries.'

Commenting on the imperative of the mass media and information dissemination in combating diabetes, WHO notes: "Mass media campaigns and social marketing can influence positive change and make healthy behaviours more the norm. These strategies have the potential to reduce the occurrence of type 2 diabetes and may also reduce complications associated with diabetes (p. 15)." Suffice it to say that mass media campaigns are essential for reducing the increasing risk of diabetes, it then follows logically that understanding media preference and consumption of diabetes patients is very essential in developing communication strategies for managing diabetes.

Scholars [3] have investigated media consumption and preference of media audience. For example, Singh and Singh studied the media preference of judges and reported that newspaper is the most preferred media for the judges in the morning hour showing that information precedes over entertainment in early part of the day while choice of Television programmes at night and late night show that entertainment precedes over information. Hanson, et al. [4] in a study of Community Health Center patients reported that they preferred that their providers use email, cell phones for texting, and Facebook and cell phone apps for sharing health information. Significantly more Hispanic than white patients believed their providers should use Facebook (P=0.001), YouTube (P=0.01), and Twitter (P=0.04) for sharing health information. Use and intentions to use social media for health-related purposes were significantly higher for those patients with higher subjective norm scores. The media consumption pattern of the audience has been thought to account for the success or failure of health campaigns. Wakefield [5] corroborates that communication campaigns involving diverse topics and target audiences have been conducted for decades and some reasons why information campaigns fail is largely because exposure to such messages is, generally passive. Wakefield adds that such campaigns are often competing with factors, like pervasive product marketing, powerful social norms, and behaviours driven by addiction or habit. Variables of media preference and use that are likely to affect health campaigns include: the type of media use, the time of media use and the average duration for media consumption. Based on this background, this study investigated media preference and use of diabetes patients in Enugu State, Nigeria.

Statement of the Problem

The increasing cases of diabetes globally have constituted a health challenge to medical experts. While complete cure of the disease has remained a daunting challenge to scientist, managing it has been identified as a vibrant way of avoiding it from becoming complex. …

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