Soap-Opera-Style Spanish-Language Video Aims to Help Hispanics Prevent or Manage Diabetes

Developing a video to facilitate physical activity and healthy eating among low-literate and illiterate Hispanics

Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., created a videotaped soap-opera-style drama, "The Challenge of Being Healthy: Martha and Sandra's Story," for use in interventions designed to increase physical activity and improve diets among low-literate and illiterate Hispanic individuals who have diabetes or are at risk of developing the disease.

Key Findings

The researchers evaluated the video with focus groups and found:

  • Focus group participants could accurately recall the information relayed through the story.
  • Both healthy Hispanic individuals interested in diabetes prevention and those with diabetes found the videotape appealing and could identify with the behavior-change issues portrayed by the characters.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $50,000 to help fund this unsolicited project from mid-December 2002 to mid-March 2005.