184953 Developing Health Communication Tools for Hispanic/Latino Audiences: The Fotonovela

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:15 PM

Clarese C. Astrin, PhD , The Media Network, Silver Spring, MD
Victor Sierra, ScM , The Media Network, Silver Spring, MD
Paula Panissidi, MHS , The Media Network, Silver Spring, MD
Background: According to the US Census, Spanish is the primary language of more than 14 percent and is spoken by approximately 28 percent of the U.S. population. Language and cultural issues can become barriers to health information access and understanding among Hispanic/Latino individuals. Fotonovelas are useful, effective, and culturally appropriate tools for communicating health-related information to Hispanic/Latino audiences. They are particularly useful in addressing literacy concerns and stigma surrounding certain public health/social issues. Conducting research is critical to inform the development of fotonovelas. We present a three-pronged research approach for developing a fotonovela.

Methods: First, to build the basis for the fotonovela background, interviews are conducted with providers who focus on the target health topics and target audiences. Next, information and storyline concepts are developed and tested with the target audience using storyboard mock ups for portions of the fotonovela. Finally, we use the findings to modify the storyline and conduct final audience testing using a mock up of the entire fotonovela with providers and client participants. The final fotonovela is modified and produced using this input.

Results: Systematic research using provider and user input enables the development and dissemination of effective and culturally appropriate fotonovelas. Fotonovelas can be used simultaneously by providers and clients to enhance communication or can be used by clients alone, as learning tools.

Conclusions: Carefully constructed fotonovelas can increase cultural competence among providers who work with diverse audiences. Conducting systematic research during the development of fotonovelas increases their utility and relevance to the target audience.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe a health communication fotonovela and feasible topics. 2. Identify the steps required for developing and evaluating a health communication fotonovela. 3. Recognize the utility of fotonovelas in comparison to other health communication options for communicating with Hispanic/Latino audiences.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: During training for my PhD, I took many research methodology courses. I have been involved professionally in research and evaluation since 2002, and have conducted research in support of the development a number of health communication products for diverse audiences.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.