Study: The Positive Impact of Narrative Health Blogs on Patient Behavior

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Health blogs and websites containing personal narratives are more effective in modifying patient behavior than those without, even if the blogger's personal history differs from the patient's, according to a study in the Journal of Internet Medical Research.

Researchers studied the effect of health blogs on 150 participants' propensity to adopt a healthy behavior: running for exercise. The blogs varied in presence of personal narratives and similarity to the participant.

Results showed that narrative blogs were effective in encouraging participants to take up running, despite lack of source similarity. "The narratives could motivate people to increase their physical activity even when the blogs were not specifically created with source similarities inserted as blogger characteristics," said the study's authors.

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