Effectiveness of film as a health communication tool to improve perceptions and attitudes in multiple sclerosis

on behalf of the ARHMS investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Health communication tools like film are capable of reducing health disparities and could be effective in addressing negative illness perceptions of MS in Hispanics/Latinx. Objective: To test the feasibility of using a culturally appropriate short narrative film to examine illness perceptions overtime and attitudes in Hispanics/Latinx affected with MS. Methods: Participants were assigned to view a short narrative film (n = 130) or not (n = 106). The Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire (BIPQ) was used to examine illness perceptions at baseline, one and three months. Focus groups were conducted at 6 months. Measures of sociocultural integration were obtained. Individual group BIPQ domains were evaluated over time using paired sample t-test. Multivariate linear regression was used to examine predictors of BIPQ change. Results: A more positive perception of treatment (p < 0.0001) and understanding (p = 0.0003) were seen at 3 months for those exposed to film. Focus groups were effective in highlighting that the perceived disease prognosis, family support and awareness of MS contributes to attitudes. Exposure to film was found to be the strongest predictor (Beta:6.31, p = 0.01) of BIPQ change at three months. Conclusion: Our results provide support that a short narrative film of MS in Hispanics/Latinx is a feasible intervention to change perceptions of MS to a more positive view.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Latino/Hispanic/Latinx
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • attitudes
  • education
  • film
  • health literacy
  • illness perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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