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Abstract

On the road to a healthier lifestyle: Developing narrative health interventions for truck drivers

Compared to other professional groups, truck drivers are a low SES group with a relatively unhealthy lifestyle and relatively poor health outcomes. From an analysis of current health interventions aimed at truck drivers, it appears that designers assume that their unhealthy behavior is caused by a lack of motivation to change their unhealthy lifestyle, and that the most effective strategy is to underscore the undesirable consequences of the current behavior as well as the desirable ones of the recommended behavior. This leads to persuasive messages that pose relatively high demands on the target group’s cognitive capabilities: hidden premises must be inferred, and the applied argumentation scheme must be identified in order to estimate the arguments’ strength. For members of the target group, such argumentative interventions may be too complex. Moreover, many of the target group are already motivated. Many truck drivers wish to live a healthier life, but do not know how to overcome obstacles in their work and private contexts, thus lacking a bridge between intending and acting. We conducted an experiment to investigate the possibilities of narrative health interventions for this target group. The results of this experiment suggest that narrative health interventions may be an effective communication strategy for lower SES target groups.
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Keywords: corpus analysis; health communication; health literacy; narrative intervention; narrative persuasion

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Hans Hoeken is hoogleraar Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het Departement Talen, Literatuur en Communicatie en bij het Utrechts Instituut voor Linguïstiek OTS. ., Email: [email protected] 2: Anniek Boeijinga is promovenda aan de Radboud Universiteit bij het Centre for Language Studies. ., Email: [email protected] 3: José Sanders is hoogleraar Narratieve Communicatie aan de Radboud Universiteit bij het Centre for Language Studies. ., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2017-07-01

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing verschijnt drie keer per jaar en biedt een platform aan taalbeheersers om de resultaten van wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar taal- en tekstgebruik te publiceren. Het onderzoek waarover gerapporteerd wordt, richt zich zowel op schriftelijke als mondelinge taalvaardigheid, op begrijpelijk en/of effectief taalgebruik, op vormen en functies van verschillende tekstgenres en op taalkundige kenmerken van communicatie. Het tijdschrift biedt ruimte aan onderzoek vanuit verschillende disciplines zoals taalwetenschap, tekstwetenschap, conversatie-analyse, communicatiewetenschap, psychologie, onderwijskunde, argumentatietheorie en retorica.

    The Dutch-language journal Tijdschrift voor Taalbeheersing is a platform for academics to publish research results about the use of language and texts. The research focuses on written and oral language skills, on understandable and/or effective language usage, on characteristics of different text genres and on characteristics of texts in communication.
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