Review of Communication Research

HEALTH COMMUNICATION                                                                                                

Title & Authors

Characteristics of Narrative Interventions and Health Effects: A Review of the Content, Form, and Context of Narratives in Health-related Narrative Persuasion Research

Anneke de Graaf and José Sanders (Center for Language Studies [CLS], Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Hans Hoeken (Utrecht Institute of Linguistics [UiL-OTS], Utrecht University, The Netherlands)

Highlights

• Health-related narrative persuasion studies show a wide variety of narrative materials in terms of content, form and context.

• A content characteristic that was associated to effects on intention more often is to show the healthy behavior which is promoted by the narrative.

• A promising form characteristic of print narratives is the use of a first-person perspective.

• An overtly persuasive context does not necessarily preclude narrative effects in a health context.

• The diversity of narrative characteristics and effects invites continued research on health-related narrative persuasion.

Abstract

In recent years, many studies have been conducted on persuasive effects of narratives in a health context. A striking feature of this research area is the diversity of the narratives that are used in the various studies. Narratives that convey a health message differ widely on a large number of dimensions related to the content, form and context. We expect that these characteristics are potential explanatory factors in the effectiveness of the narratives. To provide an overview of the different characteristics of narratives in health effects research and of the persuasive effects that were found, we review 153 experimental studies on health-related narrative persuasion with a focus on the narrative stimuli. The results show that: a) with regard to the content, showing the healthy behavior in a narrative (as opposed to the unhealthy behavior with negative consequences) may be associated with effects on intention. Narratives that contain high emotional content are more often shown to have effects. b) With regard to the form, for print narratives, a first-person perspective is a promising characteristic in light of effectiveness. c) With regard to the context, an overtly persuasive presentation format does not seem to inhibit narrative persuasion. And d) other characteristics, like character similarity or the presentation medium of the narrative, do not seem to be promising characteristics for producing health effects. In addition, fruitful areas for further research can be found in the familiarity of the setting and the way a health message is embedded in the narrative. Because of the diversity of narrative characteristics and effects that were found, continued research effort is warranted on which characteristics lead to effects. The present review provides an overview of the evidence for persuasive narrative characteristics so far..

Content

DEFINITION OF NARRATIVE

PREVIOUS REVIEWS

NARRATIVE CHARACTERISTICS

METHOD

Search Strategy

Selection Criteria

Review Strategy

RESULTS

Comparing Narratives to Control Conditions

Beliefs and attitudes.

Intention.

Behavior.

Comparing Different Versions of Narratives: Content

Similarity.

Framing.

Emotional outcomes.

Comparing Different Versions of Narratives: Form

Medium.

Perspective.

Message embedding.

Comparing Different Versions of Narratives: Context

CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION

REFERENCES

TABLES

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Characteristics of Narrative Interventions and Health Effects: A Review of the Content, Form, and Context of Narratives in Health-related Narrative Persuasion Research

Anneke de Graaf, José Sanders and Hans Hoeken

 

Keywords: Narrative persuasion, Health, Narrative engagement, Perspective, Framing.

  Filesize 502.03 KB Download 1153

 

How to cite

de Graaf, A., Sanders, J., & Hoeken, H. (2016). Characteristics of narrative interventions and health effects: A review of the content, form, and context of narratives in health-related narrative persuasion research. Review of Communication Research, 4, 88-131. doi: 10.12840/issn.2255-4165.2016.04.01.011

Keywords

Narrative persuasion, Health, Narrative engagement, Perspective, Framing.

Repositories

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About the Authors

Anneke de Graaf (Ph.D. Radboud University Nijmegen, 2010) is an assistant professor at the department of Communication and Information Studies of the Radboud University Nijmegen. Her research interests include narrative persuasion and the optimization of health education for low-literate target groups. 

She has published in Human Communication Research, Health Communication, Communication Research and The European Journal of Communication Research, among others. Link:  http://cls.ruhosting.nl/persuasion/anneke-de-graaf/

About Dr. José Sanders: http://organisatiegids.ru.nl/tabOnderzoek.aspx?isEngels=false&RBSID=104579&frm=organisatiegids&dohide=True

About  Prof. Dr. Hans Hoeken: http://www.uu.nl/staff/JALHoeken

 

Corresponding Author:

Anneke de Graaf

Center for Language Studies (CLS)

Radboud University Nijmegen

Erasmusplein 1

6525HT Nijmegen

The Netherlands

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Characteristics of Narrative Interventions and Health Effects: A Review of the Content, Form, and Context of Narratives in Health-related Narrative Persuasion Research
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