“You're more engaged when you're listening to somebody tell their story”: A qualitative exploration into the mechanisms of the podcast ‘menopause: unmuted’ for communicating health information

Philippa A. Shaw, Amy L. Sumner, Candida C. Halton, Stacy C. Bailey, Michael Wolf, Emma N. Andrews, Tina Cartwright*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: While health podcasts can be effective in reducing stigma and increasing knowledge, we know little about their mechanisms of action. This qualitative study explored the mechanisms of how women connected with the podcast ‘menopause: unmuted’, which presented menopause information in a storytelling format. Methods: A diverse sample of 30 women aged 40–60 years were interviewed after listening to the podcast. Interviews covered participant's views and perceptions of the stories presented. Transcripts were analyzed thematically. Findings: Two overarching themes were identified. ‘Openness and authenticity’ describes the value of personal stories told in an authentic way by real experts-by-experience. ‘Relatability and representation’ explores participants’ emotional reaction to the podcast, influenced by the extent to which they identified with the stories and storytellers on the podcast. Conclusions: Authenticity and relatability were identified as key mechanisms through which participants connected with audio stories, consistent with Fisher's narrative theory. These findings have important implications for the application of storytelling in podcasts designed to influence health behaviors. Practice implications: Diverse stories representing a range of demographic characteristics and experiences are needed when creating podcasts about health information to increase listener's relatability and connection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3494-3500
Number of pages7
JournalPatient education and counseling
Volume105
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Communication
  • Menopause
  • Patient education
  • Podcasts
  • Qualitative research
  • Women's Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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