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Does Peppa Wutz fuel the inappropriate use of medical services?
A recent article by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) draws attention to the bad messages that are spread with the television series Peppa Wutz and warns of possible consequences when using medical services. The series is broadcast in more than 180 countries worldwide and the impact on society's expectations should not be underestimated, according to the BMJ.
As a general practitioner, she often asked herself why some patients consult a doctor immediately, even with mild symptoms, writes the author Catherine Bell. In her view, television series such as Peppa Wutz could play a role. In the series, a picture of doctors is drawn that unfulfillable expectations fuel and lead to an increased use of medical services, according to the doctor's thesis.
Are unrealistic expectations raised?
Peppa Wutz is a popular children's series that deals with the young pig Peppa, her family, animal lovers and members of the community. Dr. Brown Bear is the family doctor who helps with all medical problems. This offers its patients excellent service with prompt and direct telephone access, continuity of care, extended opening hours and constant availability for home visits. A presentation of general practice that Catherine Bell believes can contribute to unrealistic expectations about medical care.
Example from the children's series
Using three examples from the series, the doctor describes the possible effects that Dr. Braunbär's actions on patient behavior could have. In the first case a three year old piglet has an erythematous maculopapular rash and the parents call the doctor. He advises putting the patient to bed and decides to make an urgent home visit. During the visit, the patient's tongue is examined and a "rash" diagnosed. The doctor assured the parents that it was "nothing serious", but offered a dose of medicine on request. The rash will likely go away as quickly as it started, Dr. Brown bear.
Inappropriate Action by Dr. brown bear
The complaints indicate a viral rash and, for cost reasons alone, a home visit is not appropriate in such cases, Bell emphasizes. This is also an example of unnecessary medication prescription for a viral disease and encourages patients to act on their family doctor inappropriately. "Depending on the interpretation of the drug, Dr. prescribes Brown bear either antibiotics in an age of increasing resistance to antibiotics, or other prescription drugs that cost the health system, ”said Bell.
Consultation with the doctor after two minutes of a cold
In the second example, Schorsch (Peppa's brother) catches a cold and the parents call for the two-month-old symptoms of the month-old piglet Dr. Brown bear. Although it is Saturday, he immediately answers the phone and immediately decides to make an urgent home visit. After examining the throat, he diagnoses an infection of the upper respiratory tract and advises bed rest and the consumption of warm milk. The symptoms then subside within twelve hours.
Constant availability suggests
According to the understanding presented here, the doctor is always available outside of normal working hours and decides again for a clinically inappropriate urgent home visit, says Bell. At least the recommendation was reasonable in this case and his advice could encourage the family to treat similar diseases in the future.
Cough in the play group
In the third case, the three-year-old pony Pedro coughs three times while participating in the play group and the kindergarten teacher calls Dr. Brown bear, who immediately visits the playgroup - in a green car with a siren. For the diagnosis, he asks whether it is a tickling cough or a deep-seated cough and inquires about the duration of the symptoms. Without naming the diagnosis, the doctor administers a dose of medicine and warns that the cough is potentially transmissible. The remaining participants in the play group and their parents then develop symptoms and all receive a dose of the unspecified pink medicine. Even the Dr. Brown bear falls ill and then has to take his medicine.
Burnout at Dr. brown bear
In the latter case, according to Bell, the first signs of burnout are evident in Dr. Brown bear. He disregards confidentiality, parental consent, documentation and his own infection control. "He is no longer able to offer the level of service expected from his patients," said the author.
Overall, Peppa Wutz provides many positive messages in the area of public health and promotes healthy eating, exercise and traffic safety. "But (repeated, mostly involuntary) examination of the material gives rise to the hypothesis that exposure to Peppa Wutz and this representation of general practice increases patient expectations and promotes inappropriate use of medical services," concluded the doctor. (fp)