Storytelling for promoting colorectal cancer prevention and early detection among Latinos

Linda K. Larkey, Julie Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective: Health promotion efforts directed at Latinos may be more effective when culturally adapted methods are used. Our study was designed to test a novel communication modality for promoting colorectal cancer (CRC) prevention and screening messages among Latinos. Methods: We compared a culturally aligned, brief storytelling educational intervention (ST) to a numeric risk tool intervention (NR) based on the Harvard Cancer Risk Index. Both interventions included risk factor information and recommendations for primary prevention and screening for CRC. Sixty-four Latinos (mean age 46.8, 86% female) were randomized and completed pre- and post-tests. Results: Participants in ST indicated intent to add significantly more servings of vegetables (p = .030) and more minutes of exercise (p = .018) to daily routines than those in NR. Most respondents (ST and NR) reported intentions to recommend CRC screening to friends and relatives. Conclusions: These data provide support for storytelling's potential to promote health behavior change with cultural relevance for Latinos. Practice implications: Storytelling shows promise as an effective method for reaching one of the historically underserved ethnic groups with cancer prevention and screening information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-278
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Colonoscopy
  • Colorectal carcinoma
  • Cultural competence
  • Hispanic
  • Latino
  • Screening test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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