• health education;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • social norms;
  • storytelling;
  • women

ABSTRACT Objective: The purpose of this study was to test how teaching format (factual versus storytelling) and restructuring the social norm of caring for others to caring for self affects how women learn to identify and respond to myocardial infarction (MI) symptoms.

Design: The study was a randomized pretest posttest full factorial experiment.

Sample: One hundred and thirteen women participated.

Measures: Before and after reading the intervention pamphlet, the women wrote all the MI symptoms that they knew and rated their intention to call 911 if symptoms occurred.

Intervention: The women read one of the four MI pamphlets corresponding to the four conditions.

Results: No significant effects for learning MI symptoms resulted from teaching format or social norms. Women learned three additional MI symptoms. All responded with high intention to call 911 if MI symptoms occurred.

Conclusions: Women can learn additional MI symptoms from reading a brief pamphlet about MI symptoms. Use of a storytelling format and the social norm of caring for self might not impact how many MI symptoms women learn. Studies using audiovisuals and larger samples are needed to clarify whether storytelling format and the social norm of caring for self-impact learning MI symptoms.