Web videonovela series helps Spanish-speaking patients compare treatments for diabetes

Research Activities, July 2012, No. 383

A new Spanish-language videonovela, Aprende a vivir (Learn to Live), features messages to help diabetes patients compare their treatment options to find a regimen that works best for them. The three-part videonovela series began being distributed via the Internet by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as part of a wide range of activities that celebrated National Minority Health Month in April.

Aprende a vivir tells the story of Don Felipe, who has type 2 diabetes and is head of the Jiménez family, and the problem he has learning to manage his disease. The first episode was released April 26 on AHRQ's Healthcare 411 website http://healthcare411.ahrq.gov/aprendeavivir.aspx. The following two episodes were released in early May.

The videonovela series shows how Don Felipe, with the support of his family, comes to understand that he needs to speak with his health care team about his treatment options rather than skip his medication because of side effects. Research shows that people with type 2 diabetes often have problems adhering to medication schedules. Causes may include low health literacy, poor patient-provider communication, cultural barriers, and other factors.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in 2007-2009, after adjusting for population and age differences, nearly 12 percent of Hispanics 20 or older had been diagnosed with diabetes. AHRQ data show that in 2008, Hispanics were more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be admitted to a hospital for uncontrolled diabetes without complications, and were twice as likely to be hospitalized for long-term complications from uncontrolled diabetes.

"Closing gaps in health care disparities among Hispanics and other Americans is a priority for AHRQ, and Aprende a vivir will contribute to this effort," said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D. "The videonovela series provides a compelling platform for bringing to life some of the important everyday issues central to effective patient care."

The Healthcare 411 Web site will showcase not only the Aprende a vivir series, but also links to patient education resources on comparing treatments for diabetes, and selected other health information from AHRQ and across the Department of Health and Human Services. The materials are available in Spanish and English. Viewers of the Aprende a vivir series will also have the option of selecting captions in Spanish or English. The episodes, which vary from 5 to 7 minutes each, will also be available on AHRQ's Spanish-language Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AHRQehc.espanol.

"Aprende a vivir is an entertaining way to model and reinforce healthy behaviors without lecturing," said Ileana Ponce-Gonzalez, M.D., AHRQ's Spanish-language spokesperson. "The videonovela as an educational tool is beneficial for individual consumers, patients, clinicians, promotores de salud, educators, and advocates to improve the quality of care and patient safety of people living with diabetes."

For information in Spanish about diabetes from the CDC go to http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/spanish/ and from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, go to http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/spanish/index_sp.aspx.

For the latest information on Hispanics' access to and quality of health care, go to AHRQ's 2011 National Healthcare Disparities Report at .

Current as of July 2012
Internet Citation: Web videonovela series helps Spanish-speaking patients compare treatments for diabetes: Research Activities, July 2012, No. 383. July 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/jul12/0712RA32.html