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Abstract: SA-OR31

Linked by Love: Relatability and Cultural Appropriateness of an Edutainment Series About CKD in an African American Family

Session Information

Category: Diversity and Equity in Kidney Health

  • 800 Diversity and Equity in Kidney Health


  • Davis, LaShara A., Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, United States
  • Mendez, Nicole D., Mendez National Institute of Transplantation Foundation, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Nicholas, Susanne B., Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Waterman, Amy D., Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas, United States

African Americans (AA) are 3.1 times more likely than Whites to have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and progress to kidney failure, but less likely to receive living donor kidney transplants (LDKTs), in part, due to poorer transplant knowledge and motivation to learn more. We examined whether the scripts for the CKD edutainment series, Linked by Love, were engaging and culturally sensitive to the AA community and determine recommendations for improvement.


We recruited AA patients to watch a script read of one of six scripts and provide feedback on the cultural sensitivity of and their engagement with the storyline prior to filming. We conducted 13 focus groups (FG) with 2-6 participants (Median: 4) per group. Participants also provided recommendations about how to make the series more authentic to the experiences of CKD patients and families. FGs were transcribed verbatim and thematically coded for reactions to the scripts and recommendations for improvements. Themes were generated using inductive and deductive coding.


FG participants (N=32) reported that the series was authentic (55.3%), engaging (42.1%), and enjoyable (42.1%) in a response to a brief survey on engagement. Themes emerged around the lack of awareness of common causes of CKD and limited depictions of AA health stories on television. Script elements depicting the main character as a superwoman and health secrecy within AA families were seen as culturally sensitive and caused curiosity about improving kidney health. Most stated that they would share the series with others. After viewing the series, several participants shared that they now planned to check their creatinine levels. Suggested improvements included earlier distinction of CKD symptoms, more family involvement in the evaluation process, and discussion of nutrition as a factor in health and illness.


Fictionalized stories about CKD and transplant challenges in AA families are well received by AA audiences when they include realistic family portrayals, depictions of strong female characters, and highlight AA family secrecy around health and illness. Edutainment is a promising technique to connect with and educate AA families. Further research is needed to assess whether this strategy can improve CKD knowledge, prevention, and behaviors.


  • Private Foundation Support