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The experimental use of television in a developing country: widening social recruitment into the nursing profession in Bahrain

Al-Umran, Hala Ahmed (1981) The experimental use of television in a developing country: widening social recruitment into the nursing profession in Bahrain. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This research is concerned with the effects of mass media campaigns. Specifically it explores the effects of a specially designed persuasive campaign on television in Bahrain, with the object of increasingthtnumber of female recruits into the nursing profession in that country. The research also seeks to make theoretical and more general contributions to the design of effective media campaigns. The study was done at the instigation of the Ministry of Health in Bahrain. After a preliminary review of the literature, which showed up the many controversies in the field of persuasion, the first stage of the study explored the difficulties and resistances experienced by Bahraini girls who might wish to enrol in the School of Nursing. A series of television programmes was then designed specifically to counteract these resistances. These programmes were broadcast by Bahraini television at peak viewing times on three successive weeks and their effects were assessed among 3,226 pupils between the ages of 13 and 16 years, comprising virtually all the potential candidates for the Nursing School for the following year. The design used was a before-and-after field experiment in a naturalistic setting comprising: (a) and (b) two experimental groups who had seen either some or all of the programmes, a control group who did not watch any of the special programmes. The pupils were all given a number of scales and questionnaires both before and after the programmes were broadcast and a special analysis was carried out between comparable sub-samples. The results showed, broadly speaking, that the programmes had been successful in overcoming the earlier resistances, more so among the girls who had seen all the programmes. These girls also showed a significant increase in their knowledge about nursing and more favourable attitudes towards nursing as a profession. Information from the School of Nursing indicated a rise in the number of applicants and it was claimed that applicants were of an improved academic standard. Previous campaigns of this kind in Bahrain have been unsuccessful. The present study shows that if the programmes are carefully planned to counteract audience resistance which had been previously determined, positive results can be obtained. The study also shows that it is feasible even in a developing country, to conduct a naturalistic yet well controlled field experiment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1981 Hala Ahmed Al-Umran
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Sociology
Supervisor: Oppenheim, A.N.

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