Postpartum Depression Reporting Within Canadian News Sources (2010-2019)
Keywords:postpartum depression, maternal health, Canadian news media, science communication
Postpartum depression (PPD) is often stigmatized and there appears to be a significant lack of representation of PPD in Canadian media outlets. This showcases the necessity for diverse reporting in the media and an increase in awareness of PPD among the general population. The extent to which PPD is underrepresented in Canadian news sources over the past decade has not been evaluated to date. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of articles about PPD published in three popular Canadian newspapers (The Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star) in 2010, 2015 and 2019 using Factiva. We scored the publications based on relevancy, approach to communicating PPD and discussion of resources. In 2010, 66.6% (n=7) of articles retrieved covered PPD, compared to 0% (n=0) and 16.7% (n=1) of articles in 2015 and 2019, respectively. Only articles that discussed PPD as their main focus were included in further analysis. Anecdotes of mothers’ personal experiences with PPD were present in 62.5% of articles (n=5), while only 25% (n=2) included descriptions of fathers’ experiences with PPD. Scientific information about PPD was mentioned in 85.71% of the articles (n=6). There was no discussion surrounding providing support or resources for mothers or fathers experiencing PPD in any of the analyzed articles. Evidently, the number of articles mentioning or discussing PPD has decreased in the last decade. In 2010, there was greater discussion of PPD in media sources, emphasizing relevant science and personal experiences of parents. Articles published in 2010 also included a greater representation of males’ perspectives on PPD.Overall, the analysis suggests a plausible trend in the reporting of PPD and PPD stigmatization, however more research needs to be conducted in order to understand whether or not PPD has become more stigmatized in the last decade.
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