It’s no surprise to most healthcare workers that television and film consistently misrepresent the reality of brain injury, but now a new study shows how soap operas portray comas in a hazy, unrealistic light that may cultivate public misperceptions.
When a coma occurs in a soap opera, the survival rate is 89%, versus 50% in real life. Fictional characters emerged from comas without any impairments 91% of the time, while the figure is 1% in non-fiction settings. Soap operas also misepresent the demographic reality of brain injury, having them mainly occur to young white women, who are actually less likely than the general population to experience a coma.
To debunk your own misperceptions about comas, start with this interesting article from Medpage Today.