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Cancer Control. 2009 Jan;16(1):79-87.

Storytelling for promoting colorectal cancer screening among underserved Latina women: a randomized pilot study.

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Arizona Cancer Center, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, USA.



In a low socioeconomic-status population of Latina women, we evaluated the potential of storytelling (ST) as a culturally aligned narrative method to promote colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention and screening, compared to a risk tool (RT)-based intervention.


Seventy-eight women were randomized in this pilot study to one of two brief interventions to communicate CRC risk reduction options: ST or an RT. Measures of behavioral intentions relative to CRC prevention and screening were obtained following the intervention.


Mean scores for intent to obtain and recommend endoscopy to others were significantly better for participants receiving ST than RT (P = .038 and P = .011, respectively). All participants expressed intent to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity in response to interventions. Post-intervention perceptions of cancer risk and fear of CRC were not significantly different for participants receiving ST compared with RT. Pre- to post-intervention perceptions of risk increased in ST and decreased in RT, while decreases in fear were similar across both intervention groups.


Storytelling may be an effective approach for changing CRC risk-related behavioral intentions among Latinas. Mediating factors (such as perceived risk or fear) often used to predict behavior change may not adequately explain the potential persuasive mechanisms of storytelling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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