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Health Educ Behav. 2007 Oct;34(5):777-92. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Using narrative communication as a tool for health behavior change: a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical overview.

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  • 1Health Communication Research Laboratory and Center for Cultural Cancer Communication, School of Public Health, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63104, USA.


Narrative is the basic mode of human interaction and a fundamental way of acquiring knowledge. In the rapidly growing field of health communication, narrative approaches are emerging as a promising set of tools for motivating and supporting health-behavior change. This article defines narrative communication and describes the rationale for using it in health-promotion programs, reviews theoretical explanations of narrative effects and research comparing narrative and nonnarrative approaches to persuasion, and makes recommendations for future research needs in narrative health communication.

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