Restor(y)ing Health: A Conceptual Model of the Effects of Digital Storytelling

Alice Fiddian-Green, Sunny Kim, Aline C. Gubrium, Linda Larkey, Jeffery C. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We currently see an interdisciplinary shift toward a “participatory turn” in health research and promotion under which community engagement, shared decision making and planning, and the use of visual and digital methods have become paramount. Digital storytelling (DST) is one such innovative and engaging method increasingly used in applied health interventions, with a growing body of research identifying its value. Despite its increasing use, a standard approach to empirically assess the impacts on individuals participating in DST interventions does not currently exist. In this article, we define DST as a distinct narrative intervention, illustrate key elements that inform the methodology, and present a conceptual model to examine how DST may contribute to increased socioemotional well-being and bolster positive health outcomes. Our proposed model is informed by elements of narrative theory, Freirian conscientization, multimodality, and social cognitive theory and can serve as a guide for public health practitioners and researchers interested in assessing the potential benefits of DST as an applied health intervention. Recommendations for practice call for a rigorous methodological approach to apply and test this model across a range of health contexts and populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-512
Number of pages11
JournalHealth promotion practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Freirian conscientization
  • conceptual model
  • digital storytelling
  • multimodality
  • narrative health promotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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