Using Korean Dramas as a Precision Mental Health Education Tool for Asian Americans: A Pilot Study

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Jun 18;16(12):2151. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16122151.


Precision mental health (MH) holds great potential for revolutionizing MH care and reducing the burden of mental illness. Efforts to engage Asian Americans in precision MH research is necessary to help reduce MH disparities. Korean drama ("K-drama") television shows may be an effective educational tool to increase precision MH knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors (KAB) among Asian Americans. This study determined whether KAB improved after participating in a K-drama precision MH workshop, and examined the participants' perspectives about K-dramas' utility as an educational tool. A K-drama precision MH workshop in English/Vietnamese/Korean was conducted with a convenience sample (n = 122). Pre-/post-tests on precision MH KAB (genetics and genetic testing, and MH and help-seeking) and a survey on K-dramas' utility as an educational tool were administered. Findings revealed a significant difference in the pre- and post-test KAB scores overall, by genetics and genetic testing, and by MH and help-seeking. There were also significant increases in the overall post-test KAB scores by workshop (language) participation. Overall, participants responded positively on the utility of K-dramas as a precision MH educational tool. This study demonstrates the feasibility of K-drama as an innovative and widely available health education tool to educate communities about precision MH.

Keywords: Asian Americans; Korean dramas; community health; health disparities; health education; precision mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Americans
  • Drama*
  • Female
  • Health Education*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Republic of Korea
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Television*