Archive - Mar 10, 2011

Culturally Appropriate Storytelling to Improve Blood Pressure: A Randomized Trial

Recently, I read a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation entitled Culturally Appropriate Storytelling to Improve Blood Pressure: A Randomized Trial.

The overview starts off, “African-Americans with uncontrolled high blood pressure benefited from an intervention using DVDs of real patients' stories of how they dealt with their chronic disease.” I stopped and wondered to what point could this be generalized. Instead of DVD’s could the videos be shared on YouTube? Could the stories be told in blogs? Would it work as well for other populations or other health conditions?

When I think about this, I think of the many cancer blogs I’ve read. One ends off as a touching tribute to the writer who finally succumbed after several battles with cancer. Another, Pregnant with Cancer starts off:

This blog is to document my experience of pregnancy with cancer. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma 2 weeks after finding out I was pregnant. I went through Chemo from 10 weeks into my pregnancy throughout. Gabriella was born health at 36 weeks on November 17th 2007. I am in remission since February 2008. This is mine and Gabriella’s story.

On Monday, Sandi wrote a blog post, When Blogs Disappear. She talks about reading other blogs, and finding too often that people stop writing about their battle with cancer when they enter remission. She says it makes her sad and wishes more people would share the hope of survivors.

Sandi’s blog is the epitome of hope, and I have to wonder what sort of health outcomes could be achieved by having patients struggling with cancer read her blog. I left a comment on her blog about how important I believe her writing is. I hope others will stop by and read her blog and join with her hope.

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