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Portraying Rare and Misdiagnosed Diseases in Movies: A Content Analysis, 1980-2018

Portraying Rare and Misdiagnosed Diseases in Movies: A Content Analysis, 1980-2018
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Author(s): Liliana Vale Costa (University of Aveiro, Portugal & DigiMedia, Portugal) and Ana Isabel Veloso (University of Aveiro, Portugal & DigiMedia, Portugal)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 19
Source title: Research Anthology on Improving Health Literacy Through Patient Communication and Mass Media
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-2414-8.ch007

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Abstract

This chapter examines the portrayal of rare and misdiagnosed diseases in 9 movies from 1980 to 2018. The analysis embodies the representation of rare diseases and the suggested audiovisual strategies to comprehend the message conveyed. Most of the movies introduced the disease by highlighting its symptoms. The binomial culture of cure and care often emerges, as well as the patient's desire for the mundane pleasures in life and over dependence in a health system. The high hopes in research advances and lack of information are majorly covered in the caregivers' attempts to seek tests and drug trials and their mediator's role in patient-physician interactions. The audiovisual strategies adopted vary between the accelerated montage to communicate the contrast between the frenetic side of everyday life and the patient's process of coping with the disease, deep focus from patients to parents, and close-ups to show the individual's reactions and perspectives.

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