Using narrative communication as a tool for health behavior change: a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical overview

Health Educ Behav. 2007 Oct;34(5):777-92. doi: 10.1177/1090198106291963. Epub 2006 Dec 15.


Narrative is the basic mode of human interaction and a fundamental way of acquiring knowledge. In the rapidly growing field of health communication, narrative approaches are emerging as a promising set of tools for motivating and supporting health-behavior change. This article defines narrative communication and describes the rationale for using it in health-promotion programs, reviews theoretical explanations of narrative effects and research comparing narrative and nonnarrative approaches to persuasion, and makes recommendations for future research needs in narrative health communication.

MeSH terms

  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Models, Psychological
  • Social Support