Effectiveness of Narrative Persuasion on Facebook: Change of Attitude and Intention Towards HPV


  • Ubaldo Cuesta Endowed Chair, Division of Health Communication, Complutense University of Madrid, School of Communication
  • Luz Martínez
  • Victoria Cuesta




Effectiveness of Narrative Persuasion on Facebook Change of Attitude and Intention Towards HPV


Information, detection and prevention are very important factors in sexually transmitted diseases such as human papillomavirus, which is linked to cervical cancer and other cancers (WHO, 2015). This paper aims to demonstrate empirically whether the use of narrative in new media, such as Facebook, produces a greater impact on attitudes and intention in sex education issues, such as human papillomavirus, than the same information presented in non-narrative. Also, the role of the viewer’s involvement in this persuasive effect is analysed. A group of young university students was tested before and after viewing a Facebook profile on HPV in a narrative vs non-narrative format. The narrative proved to be more effective than the non-narrative, provoking a more positive attitude towards periodic medical check-ups and towards the intention of being tested for HPV. Additionally, narrative transportation proved to have a direct effect on attitude, while involvement with both the story and the character play a moderating role on intention. In conclusion, this paper demonstrates that structured narrative format in Facebook is an effective tool in the field of health education and prevention of HPV, which could also play a role in preventing cervical cancer.