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Aprendiendo de La Vida (Learning from Life): Development of a Radionovela to Promote Preventive Health Care Utilization among Indigenous Farmworkers from Mexico Living in California


Mixtecs and Zapotecs, originating from the Oaxaca area in Mexico, are among the largest indigenous groups of workers in California. Many adults in this community only access the health care system when sick and as a last resort. This article describes the development of a radionovela to inform the community about the importance of preventive health care. It was developed following the Sabido Method. The methodology to develop a radionovela may be of interest to other public health practitioners who want to develop educational materials in an engaging format, especially for communities that rely on oral, not written information.

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Acknowledgements and Funding

We would like to thank the team of Radio Indigena FM 94.1; the radionovela cast and study participants; PCI Media Impact; and Veline Mojarro and Erica Rey from the UCLA Art & Global Health Center for facilitating community feedback sessions and rehearsals. This study was supported by the California Breast Cancer Research Grants Program of the University of California, Grants Numbers 22BB-1900&1901. Additional support was provided by the Charles Drew University/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities, NIH/NCI Grant# U54-CA-143931 and U54-CA-143930, and by the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. KT was supported by NIH/NCI grant 5R25CA078583.

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Correspondence to Annette E. Maxwell.

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The study was approved by the University of California Los Angeles Institutional Review Board

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Survey participants provided oral consent to participate.

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Maxwell, A.E., Young, S., Gomez, N. et al. Aprendiendo de La Vida (Learning from Life): Development of a Radionovela to Promote Preventive Health Care Utilization among Indigenous Farmworkers from Mexico Living in California. J Med Humanit (2021).

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  • Arts-based intervention
  • Story-telling
  • Health promotion
  • Low-literacy populations
  • Indigenous community
  • Methodology to develop novelas