The use of traditional folk media to convey diabetes mellitus messages at public health care services




Health communication, Indigenous knowledge systems, Folk media, Diabetes mellitus, Storytelling, Poetry, Song and dance, Traditional media


Diabetes awareness amongst indigenous language groups needs to be presented in a culturally sensitive manner. This study presents the use of traditional folk media to convey diabetes messages to adults attending public health care services in a sub-district in the Free State province of South Africa. A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test design was employed and random sampling of public health care services (n=26) was done in order to sample three services for control/experimental sites respectively. Conveniently selected participants (n=183) underwent pre and 4-week post-testing using questionnaires. Experimental group participants received six key diabetes messages conveyed via storytelling (n=2), poetry (n=2), and song/ dance (n=2). The profile of participants in both groups wassimilar. Responses to messages from pre-test to 4-week post within the experimental group for storytelling, poetry, song and dance were statistically significant. Comparing the experimental and control group change from pre-test to 4-week post, statistically significant differences were found for one message using storytelling and another using poetry. The authors conclude that traditional folk media can be used to raise diabetes awareness among indigenous language groups.


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