Implicit hype? Representations of platelet rich plasma in the news media

PLoS One. 2017 Aug 9;12(8):e0182496. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182496. eCollection 2017.


Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has gained popularity in recent years for treating sports-related injuries and the news media frequently reports on elite athletes' and celebrities' use of PRP. We conducted a content analysis of newspaper coverage of PRP in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States. Findings show that news media coverage of PRP appears most frequently in sports-related stories, and in relation to elite athletes use of PRP. PRP injections are largely portrayed as a routine treatment for sports-related injuries and newspaper articles rarely discuss the limitations or efficacy of PRP. We argue that while news media coverage of PRP exhibits very few common hallmarks of hype, its portrayal as a routine treatment used by elite athletes and celebrities creates an implicit hype. This implicit hype can contribute to public misunderstandings of the efficacy of PRP.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy
  • Famous Persons
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Mass Media*
  • Newspapers as Topic
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Treatment Outcome

Grant support

The authors thank the Trudeau Foundation for funding support. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.