Developing a Culturally and Linguistically Congruent Digital Storytelling Intervention in Vietnamese and Korean American Mothers of Human Papillomavirus–Vaccinated Children: Feasibility and Acceptability Study

Sunny Wonsun Kim, Angela Chia Chen Chen, Lihong Ou, Linda Larkey, Michael Todd, Yooro Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The high morbidity, mortality, and economic burden attributed to cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) call for researchers to address this public health concern through HPV vaccination. Disparities of HPV-associated cancers in Vietnamese and Korean Americans exist, yet their vaccination rates remain low. Evidence points to the importance of developing culturally and linguistically congruent interventions to improve their HPV vaccination rates. We adopted digital storytelling (DST) that combines oral storytelling with computer-based technology (digital images, audio recording, and music) as a promising approach for facilitating the communication of culturally relevant health messages. Objective: This study aimed to (1) assess the feasibility and acceptability of intervention development through DST workshops, (2) conduct an in-depth analysis of the cultural experience that shapes HPV attitudes, and (3) explore aspects of the DST workshop experience that could inform future formative and intervention work. Methods: Through community partners, social media, and snowball sampling, we recruited 2 Vietnamese American and 6 Korean American mothers (mean age 41.4, SD 5.8 years) who had children vaccinated against HPV. Three virtual DST workshops were conducted between July 2021 and January 2022. Our team supported mothers to develop their own stories. Mothers completed web-based surveys before and after the workshop and provided feedback on each other’s story ideas and the workshop experience. We used descriptive statistics to summarize quantitative data and constant comparative analysis to analyze qualitative data collected in the workshop and field notes. Results: Eight digital stories were developed in the DST workshops. They were well accepted, and the mothers showed overall satisfaction and relevant indicators (eg, would recommend it to others, would attend a similar workshop, it was worth their time; mean 4.2-5, range 1-5). Mothers found the process rewarding and appreciated the opportunity to share their stories in group settings and learn from each other. The 6 major themes that emerged from the data reflect the mothers’ rich personal experiences, attitudes, and perceptions about their child’s HPV vaccination, which included (1) showing parents’ love and responsibility; (2) HPV and related knowledge, awareness, and attitudes; (3) factors influencing vaccine decision-making; (4) source of information and information sharing; (5) response to children's being vaccinated; and (6) cultural perspectives on health care and HPV vaccination. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a virtual DST workshop is a highly feasible and acceptable approach to engaging Vietnamese American and Korean American immigrant mothers in developing culturally and linguistically congruent DST interventions. Further research is needed to test the efficacy and effectiveness of digital stories as an intervention for Vietnamese American and Korean American mothers of unvaccinated children. This process of developing an easy-to-deliver, culturally and linguistically aligned, and holistic web-based DST intervention can be implemented with other populations in other languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere45696
JournalJMIR Formative Research
StatePublished - 2023


  • Asia
  • HPV
  • Korean
  • Research Electronic Data Capture
  • Vietnamese
  • child
  • communication
  • constructivism
  • constructivist
  • conversation
  • cultural
  • culture
  • deep analysis
  • dialogue
  • digital
  • digital intervention
  • digital storytelling
  • feasibility
  • health insurance
  • health status
  • human papillomavirus
  • immigrant
  • immunization
  • inoculate
  • inoculation
  • language
  • microphone
  • mortality rate
  • mother
  • odd
  • photo
  • qualitative
  • questionnaire
  • rate
  • ratio
  • script
  • social media
  • soundtrack
  • stories
  • story
  • storytelling
  • survey
  • vaccination
  • vaccine
  • video
  • voiceover
  • write
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Informatics


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