Using a Culturally Tailored Narrative to Increase Cervical Cancer Detection Among Spanish-Speaking Mexican-American Women

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Journal of Cancer Education

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The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility and effectiveness of translating films, and whether the use of narrative is an effective vehicle for producing changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding cervical cancer compared with a nonnarrative film. A randomized controlled telephone trial surveyed the effectiveness of two films our team produced among a sample of 300 monolingual Spanish-speaking women, ages 25 to 45, who were of Mexican origin. Participants were recruited using random digit dialing (RDD) procedures from 2013 to 2014 in Los Angeles County and were randomly selected to view either a narrative or nonnarrative film. Data were collected by phone at baseline, 2 weeks, and 6 months after viewing. On average, participants arrived in the USA 25 years ago. The majority reported having less than high school education and limited English proficiency. Compared with their nonnarrative counterparts, women who received the cervical cancer–related information in the narrative film showed a significantly greater increase in new knowledge (p = 0.01) and in supportive attitudes about Pap tests expense (p = 0.05). Importantly, at 6 months, although not statistically significant, women who viewed the narrative film were also more likely to have had or scheduled a Pap test (62% vs 42%). Narratives are a useful and underutilized tool to communicate information about cancer prevention. These findings have important implications for the delivery of health education among Spanish-speaking, low-literacy immigrant women, and for the reduction of cancer-related disparities.


Copyright American Association for Cancer Education 2019



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