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Narratives and Barrier Reduction

  • By: Smita C. Banerjee
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Narratives are traditionally defined as literary works (e.g., a book, novel, soap opera, or film) that present an account of sequenced events. Narratives are postulated to have an advantage over traditional didactic and other nonnarrative forms of health messages (possibly due to the subtle nature of persuasion), and therefore may be better positioned to address barriers to health-promoting messages and communication (e.g., tobacco use, sun protection, and physical activity), and cancer screening behaviors (e.g., mammography, pap test, colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen test, and human papillomavirus testing). Barriers to health-promoting messages and communication may include counterarguing or discounting message claims and implications, ignoring the messages, and/or questioning and denying the validity of the message due to the message source. Similarly, barriers to cancer and other disease-screening behaviors ...

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