Health Fotonovela Strips for Spanish Language Newspapers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43CA135999-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: CA135999
Amount: $100,001.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2009
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2009-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 194282468
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 (505) 466-8817
Business Contact
Phone: (505) 466-8817
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cancer research that translates into simple, easy to understand information is a challenge in mainstream USA. A lack of English language proficiency, trouble accessing health care, and socio-cultural barriers are challenges for monolingual Latinos. As of 2006, the estimated Hispanic/Latino population in the United States was 44 million (1). Almost 25 % of the Latino population in the US does not speak English (2) and accessing important health information about nutrition, cancer prevention and/or early cancer detection eludes them. Fotonovelas, a popular Latin American print medium, are stories told with photos and dialog bubbles. Because fotonovelas are pictorial and use dialog to convey information, they are intrinsically easy to read. Fotonovelas originated as an entertainment pop culture medium in Latin America and they are popular and well-received in the Hispanic/Latino community (3,8,9, 30). The overall goal of this SBIR Phase I grant application is to assess the feasibility of producing and placing health fotonovela strips on a weekly basis in Spanish newspapers across the United States. The purpose of the health fotonovela strips would be to inform in order to reduce the risks of cancer and other chronic diseases among monolingual Latinos through the dissemination of evidence-based information on nutrition and healthy eating practices. As the means to achieve these goals, Ana Consuelo Matiella and Associates, a small business with 25 years experience in producing health fotonovelas, proposes to conduct investigative and formative research with two audiences: monolingual Spanish speakers in Los Angeles, California, and Spanish language newspaper editors and publishers in the western U.S. The research with the two audiences will be in the form of focus group interviews with the monolingual Spanish speakers and potential readers of Spanish language newspapers, and in-depth, individual interviews with Spanish language editors and publishers. Data collected from the focus group interviews with the monolingual Spanish speakers will establish the receptivity of the fotonovela strips, language appropriateness, as well as believability, and personal/ relevance of story lines and characters. In-depth individual interviews with editors and publishers will gather in-put on the feasibility of the fotonovela strips, data on format and approach, and a general assessment of receptivity to the medium on the part of the newspaper industry. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The reason this project is relevant is that it addresses the NCI identified problem of inadequate collaborative infrastructure to actuate positive dietary changes in the monolingual adult Latino population. (4) The feasibility of developing an innovative strategy that would disseminate nutrition information to monolingual adult Latinos via the fotonovela communication mode in Spanish language newspapers will be established and this will contribute to knowledge gained in this difficult to reach and underserved [population]. Feasibility will be determined by researching the potential impact and receptivity with the monolingual adult, Spanish speaker/reader as well as testing the willingness of Spanish language newspaper editors and publishers to adopt this culturally and linguistically familiar intervention for use in their publications.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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