Could more effective use of the written word in primary prevention help reduce the need for surgery and other forms of medicine?
The Written Word
'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' by Mark
Haddon was a detective story about a boy with Asperger's
syndrome. It was a huge hit and spawned many entries about
it on YouTube as part of educational projects. This is one of
them, there is another one here.
Literacy is a problem but reading is still popular
In the UK generally, over 15% of people have literacy problems. This however does not necessarily mean that they can't read at all. The trick for health workers is to find a level of reading and a format that is right for the target group. Social market research is useful here. A range of creative responses is possible.
The Department of Health commissioned Dr. Fosters to produce a number of celebrity style magazines on health themes.
In Mexico they have used romantic short stories to give out health messages to sex workers.
In the UK, Lifeline have produced a range of popular comics about drug use.
An underused medium may be crossword magazines with health themes.
Social market research will tell you what formats are appropriate and what messages and information to put in them.
To read a much more full account of the topics covered on this page in the relevant chapter from my report on edutainment for health purposes click here
To download the whole 180 page report on using popular culture to tackle health inequalities click here
To download the PDF software to be able to view these files click here