Abstract

World-wide a number of groups have sought ways to incorporate health messages into television entertainment like popular drama and soap serials. In the Netherlands, the Heart Foundation incorporated its cardiovascular health message in several episodes of a popular Dutch hospital serial called Medisch Centrum West. To obtain greater insight into the impact of this so-called ‘entertainment—education (E & E) strategy’, an evaluation study was carried out. Medisch Centrum West was both entertaining and informative at the same time. Although viewers were well aware that the programme included a health message, they did not find it intrusive to their enjoyment of the storyline. It was interesting to learn that fans were more tolerant and positive towards the E & E strategy than non-fans. Age, sex and education level explained only 5% of the variance.

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