Health Communication| Risk Versus Planning Health Narratives Targeting Dutch Truck Drivers: Obtaining Impact Via Different Routes?

Anniek Boeijinga, Hans Hoeken, José Sanders


To understand when and how narrative health interventions can be effective, insights are needed into the processes that are responsible for this impact. In this study, narrative content (risk perception–focused vs. planning strategies–focused) as well as narrative medium (written vs. auditory) were manipulated to examine whether these factors influence intentions to exercise and, if so, whether this effect is obtained via different routes. The intervention’s target group consisted of 120 Dutch truck drivers who were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions. Whereas narrative medium did not yield different effects, narrative content did. Both risk-oriented and planning-oriented narratives yielded positive intentions among the drivers, but they did so via different routes: The risk narrative yielded stronger negative emotions, subsequently influencing intentions, while the planning narrative effectively stimulated concrete action strategies, which also yielded a more positive intention. These findings suggest that, to better understand how narratives can be employed as effective health interventions, attention should be paid to their content.


narrative persuasion, medium, narrative content, workplace health promotion, truck drivers

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