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J Health Commun. 2017 Mar;22(3):262-273. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2016.1276985. Epub 2017 Feb 19.

Cultural and Linguistic Adaptation of a Healthy Diet Text Message Intervention for Hispanic Adults Living in the United States.

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a School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts , University of California, Merced , Merced , California , USA.
b Psychological Sciences , University of California, Merced , Merced , California , USA.
c Health Sciences Research Institute , University of California, Merced , Merced , California , USA.


Hispanics represent a critical target for culturally adapted diet interventions. In this formative research, we translated HealthyYouTXT, an mHealth program developed by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, into HealthyYouTXT en Español, a linguistically and culturally appropriate version for Spanish speakers in the United States. We report a three-stage, mixed-methods process through which we culturally adapted the text messages, evaluated their acceptability, and revised the program based on the findings. In Stage 1, we conducted initial translations and adaptations of the text libraries using an iterative, principle-guided process. In Stage 2, we used mixed methods including focus groups and surveys with 109 Hispanic adults to evaluate the acceptability and cultural appropriateness of the program. We used survey data to evaluate whether self-determination theory (SDT) factors (used to develop HealthyYouTXT) of autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and amotivation and Hispanic cultural beliefs about familism, fatalism, and destiny predict program interest and its perceived efficacy. Mixed-methods analyses revealed substantial interest in HealthyYouTXT, with most participants desiring to use it and viewing it as highly efficacious. Both cultural beliefs (i.e., beliefs in destiny and, for men, high familism) and SDT motivations (i.e., autonomy) predicted HealthyYouTXT evaluations, suggesting utility in emphasizing them in messages. Higher destiny beliefs predicted lower interest, suggesting that they could impede program use. In Stage 3, we implemented the mixed-methods findings to finalize HealthyYouTXT en Español. The emergent linguistic principles and multistage, multimethods process can be applied in health communication adaptations.

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