Efficacy of Utilizing a Novel Education-Entertainment Strategy to Increase Health Information Seeking Behaviors among African-American Patients and the Feasibility of its Incorporation into Healthcare Settings
Mary S Harris*
Biotechnical Communications, Inc, Atlanta GA, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Mary S Harris, PhD
Inc, 227 Sandy Springs Place
Suite 103D-190, Atlanta GA, 30328, USA
Tel: (404) 252-9872
Fax: (404) 252-6654
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: April 16, 2013; Accepted date: April 29, 2013; Published date: May 01, 2013
Citation: Harris MS (2013) Efficacy of Utilizing a Novel Education-Entertainment Strategy to Increase Health Information Seeking Behaviors among African-American Patients and the Feasibility of its Incorporation into Healthcare Settings. J Community Med Health Educ 3:210. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000210
Copyright: © 2013 Harris MS. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Health disparities in chronic diseases have a significant negative effect on the public health of African-Americans. In view of the extent to which lifestyle behaviors can influence the risk for certain chronic diseases, there is a corresponding need for engaging health education materials within this population. Education-entertainment (E-E), an education strategy in which entertainment media is used as the context for presenting relevant health information, has previously shown success in affecting health-related behavior changes within distinct demographic populations. In this study, we present a novel E-E health intervention strategy tailored towards adult African-Americans. This strategy utilizes an animated ‘soap-opera’ miniseries, entitled Keeping Up With the Walkers® (KUWW), as the context for presenting relevant health information to the target population of African-American adults. KUWW addresses six chronic health disorders that are particularly prevalent in the African-American population; obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma and breast cancer. We demonstrate that KUWW was well received by the target population as an informative and entertaining health education tool and that KUWW increased health information seeking behaviors within that target population. We also found that healthcare providers had a positive response to implementing KUWW as a patient education source. We contend that KUWW is an effective health education intervention tool that could be implemented in a manner that utilizes the patient waiting room experience. The strategies used in creating KUWW may be an effective model for increasing health education among additional populations.