Engaging a community in developing an entertainment -education spanish-language radio novella aimed at reducing chronic disease risk factors, Alabama, 2010-2011

Academic Article


  • Background: 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. Community Context: 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 Spanishlanguage radio station reaches a large proportion of the local community and several communities beyond. Methods: 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. Outcome: 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. Interpretation: 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.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Frazier M; Massingale S; Bowen M; Kohler C
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 8