Online Program

Transforming Cancer Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior: An Emperical Test of the Use of Narrative versus Non Narrative

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Lourdes Baezconde Garbanati, PhD, MPH, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Institute for Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Sheila Murphy, PhD, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Lauren Frank, PhD, Portland State University, Portland, OR
Joyee Chatterjee, MA, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, Marina del Rey, CA
Meghan Moran, PhD, Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Nan Zhao, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Doe Mayer, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Jeremy Kaga, USC, Los Angeles, CA
The power and perseverance of a narrative has been recognized and utilized for thousands of years. Yet in crafting health messages Western medicine all but ignores the use of narrative. To empirically test the impact of narratives in producing knowledge, attitude and behavior change (compared to non-fiction, non-narrative formats) we produced two 11-minute films both containing the same 15 facts regarding cervical cancer prevention (via HPV vaccine), detection (via Pap tests) and treatment. The narrative, Tamale Lesson, conveys the information via a Mexican-American family's preparation for their youngest daughter's QuinceaƱera (15th birthday). A random sample of 1000 women (Mexican-American, European-American, African-American & Korean-American) between the ages of 25-45 were surveyed at three time points: (1) a pretest before viewing either the narrative or the non-narrative film; (2) a post-test two weeks after viewing; and (3) a six-month follow-up survey. Analysis revealed that the narrative was more effective in increasing cervical cancer-related knowledge, attitudes and actual screening rates by the six-month follow-up. Moreover, the narrative virtually erased the significant ethnic disparity in cervical cancer screening rates that existed at baseline. Mexican-Americans exposed to the narrative went from having the lowest rate of screening to the highest (27% to 80%). This research suggests that narrative formats may provide an invaluable and underutilized tool in reducing health disparities. Additionally, we discuss how the impact of narratives can be moderated by demographic and theoretical factors and the role of culture in acceptance of cancer messages.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
Explain the potential of using narratives as a tool for reducing health disparities. Learn how make more impactful narratives and factors that can make a narrative more effective in transmitting health information.

Keyword(s): Minorities, Health Information

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author and presenter of this material because I assisted in data collection, data analysis, and interpretation of the findings.
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.

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