CDC - Preventing Chronic Disease: Volume 9, 2012: 11_0344
Engaging a Community in Developing an Entertainment–Education Spanish-Language Radio Novella Aimed at Reducing Chronic Disease Risk Factors, Alabama, 2010–2011
Marcela Frazier, OD, MPH; Shermetria Massingale, MPH; Michelle Bowen; Connie Kohler, DrPH
Suggested citation for this article: Frazier M, Massingale S, Bowen M, Kohler C. Engaging a Community in Developing an Entertainment–Education Spanish-Language Radio Novella Aimed at Reducing Chronic Disease Risk Factors, Alabama, 2010–2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110344. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd9.110344.
US Hispanics have disproportionate rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases. We used the entertainment–education approach to develop a Spanish-language radio novella aimed at reducing risk factors for diabetes, obesity, and tobacco use. The approach is based on social cognitive theory and proposes modeling as a source of vicarious learning of outcome and efficacy expectations.
The Hispanic population in Alabama increased by 145% between 2000 and 2010. Nearly one-quarter of Hispanics aged 18 to 64 live below the federal poverty level, and 49% are uninsured. Several lifestyle factors lead to poor health behaviors in this community. Radio is a popular medium among Hispanic immigrants. The single local Spanish-language radio station reaches a large proportion of the local community and several communities beyond.
Through various methods, including workshops, review sessions, and other feedback mechanisms, we engaged stakeholders and community members in developing and evaluating a 48-episode radio novella to be broadcast as part of a variety show. We tracked participation of community members in all phases.
Community members participated significantly in developing, broadcasting, and evaluating the intervention. The desired outcome — development of a culturally relevant storyline that addresses salient health issues and resonates with the community — was realized.
Our approach to community engagement can serve as a model for other organizations wishing to use community-based participatory methods in addressing Hispanic health issues. The radio novella was a unique approach for addressing health disparities among our community’s Hispanic population.