Telling Stories, Saving Lives: Creating Narrative Health Messages

Lauren B. Frank, Sheila T. Murphy, Joyee S. Chatterjee, Meghan Moran, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Increasingly, health communication practitioners are exploring the use of narrative storytelling to convey health information. For this study, a narrative film was produced to provide information about the human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer prevention. The storyline centered on Lupita, a young woman recently diagnosed with HPV who informs her family about HPV and the availability of the HPV vaccine for her younger sister. The objective was to examine the roles of identification with characters and narrative involvement (made up of three dimensions: involvement, perceived relevance, and immersion) on perceived response efficacy, perceived severity, and perceived susceptibility to HPV and behavior (discussing the HPV vaccine with a health care provider). A random sample of 450 European American, Mexican American, and African American women between the ages of 25 and 45 years, living in the Los Angeles area, was surveyed by phone before, 2 weeks after, and 6 months after viewing the film. The more relevant women found the narrative to their own lives at 2 weeks, the higher they perceived the severity of the virus and the perceived response efficacy of the vaccine to be. Also at 2 weeks, identifying with characters was positively associated with perceived susceptibility to HPV but negatively associated with perceived severity. At 6 months, identification with specific characters was significantly associated with perceived threat and behavior. These findings suggest that different aspects of narrative health messages should be manipulated depending on the specific beliefs and behaviors being targeted. Implications for narrative message design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-163
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Communication
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Vaccines
Health
narrative
Papillomavirus Vaccines
health
Viruses
Health care
Health Communication
Availability
Los Angeles
Immersion
Motion Pictures
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
African Americans
Health Personnel
Communication
Siblings
health information
random sample
cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

Cite this

Frank, L. B., Murphy, S. T., Chatterjee, J. S., Moran, M., & Baezconde-Garbanati, L. (2015). Telling Stories, Saving Lives: Creating Narrative Health Messages. Health Communication, 30(2), 154-163. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2014.974126

Telling Stories, Saving Lives : Creating Narrative Health Messages. / Frank, Lauren B.; Murphy, Sheila T.; Chatterjee, Joyee S.; Moran, Meghan; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes.

In: Health Communication, Vol. 30, No. 2, 01.02.2015, p. 154-163.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frank, LB, Murphy, ST, Chatterjee, JS, Moran, M & Baezconde-Garbanati, L 2015, 'Telling Stories, Saving Lives: Creating Narrative Health Messages', Health Communication, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 154-163. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2014.974126
Frank, Lauren B. ; Murphy, Sheila T. ; Chatterjee, Joyee S. ; Moran, Meghan ; Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes. / Telling Stories, Saving Lives : Creating Narrative Health Messages. In: Health Communication. 2015 ; Vol. 30, No. 2. pp. 154-163.
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