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Measuring impact of storyline engagement on health knowledge, attitudes, and norms: A digital evaluation of an online health-focused serial drama in West Africa.

Authors
  • Massey, Philip M
  • Kearney, Matthew D
  • Rideau, Alexandre
  • Peterson, Adam
  • Gipson, Jessica D
  • Nianogo, Roch A
  • Bornstein, Marta
  • Prelip, Michael L
  • Glik, Deborah C
Publication Date
May 01, 2022
Source
eScholarship - University of California
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Background"Cest la Vie!" (CLV) is a serial drama that entertains, educates, and promotes positive health behaviors and social change for West African audiences. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if watching the CLV Season 2 series online had an impact on people's health knowledge, attitudes, and norms, focusing on populations in francophone West Africa.MethodsBetween July 2019 and October 2019, viewers of CLV and non-viewers were recruited from Facebook and YouTube. We conducted an online longitudinal cohort study that assessed changes in health knowledge, attitudes, and norms (KAN) between these groups. Participants completed a baseline survey prior to the online airing and up to three follow-up surveys corresponding to specific health stories in the series, including sexual violence, emergency contraception, and female circumcision. We used descriptive statistics to describe viewers and non-viewers, and an item response theory (IRT) analysis to identify the effect of viewing CLV on overall KAN.ResultsA total of 1674 respondents participated in the study. One in four participants (23%, n = 388) had seen one of the three storylines from CLV Season 2 (ie, CLV viewers). At follow-up, viewers were more likely than non-viewers to know when to correctly use emergency contraception (P < 0.001) and to believe that the practice of female circumcision should end (P = 0.001). Compared to people who did not see CLV, viewers of the series had 26% greater odds of answering pro-health responses at follow-up about sexual assault, emergency contraception, and female circumcision. Further, the level of engagement with specific storylines was associated with a differential impact on overall outcome questions.ConclusionsAs internet access continues to grow across the globe and health education materials are created and adapted for new media environments, our study provides a novel approach to examining the impact of online entertainment-education content on health knowledge, attitudes, and norms.

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