204605 Development of a gestational diabetes photonovela: Creating culturally relevant materials in Spanish and English

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Anna Bess Brown, MPH , March of Dimes, White Plains, NY
Susan Auger, MSW , Auger Communications, Durham, NC
Background: The Latino population in North Carolina has grown 400% in recent years. Many Latinas receive inadequate prenatal care and are at risk for developing gestational diabetes. A nationwide search revealed few culturally relevant materials to educate Latinas on gestational diabetes.

Methods: With funding from a chapter grant from the March of Dimes, Auger Communications and Inter-Am developed a photonovela (like a comic book with photographs) to educate Latinas about gestational diabetes. Learning objectives for the photonovela were derived from triangulating the information gained from focus groups with Latinas (n=24), an expert panel (n=6), interviews with health professionals and educators (n=7), and a review of existing literature and published materials. The storyline was based on the actual experience of a Latina with gestational diabetes.

Results: The photonovela focuses on the emotional impact on a woman who learns she has gestational diabetes. The story, designed to be reassuring, helps dispel common myths and reinforces that diabetes is controllable. Women in the focus groups agreed that the following elements are important: use of photographs, illustrations, color, and simple language.

Conclusions: Qualitative research highlighted the need to develop materials that reflected the cultural values and preferences of the target population. Using social marketing principles, this bilingual fotonovela transformed traditional medical information on gestational diabetes into consumer-friendly and culturally-relevant messages.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the significance of the use of the photonovela (photo-story) in educating Latinas. 2. Identify two strategies for creating culturally relevant educational materials. 3. List three resources for developing effective educational materials.

Keywords: Diabetes, Latinas

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: State Program Director, March of Dimes, NC Chapter
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.