Background: There is growing attention to how evidence-based health knowledge can best be disseminated. A number of research and development projects have focused on the translation of best evidence aimed at clinicians, consumers and policy makers. While these projects failed to concern 'illiterate and semi-illiterate' people especially those who live in rural areas in middle- and low-income countries.
Objectives: To make a knowledge translation to 'illiterate and semi-illiterate' people in rural China.
Methods: We used the knowledge gained from database of Cochrane library and Chinese evidence-based guidelines. Based on the best evidence, we designed and rehearsed a series of short comedy plays in local language and performed them to villagers in Gaolan country, one of the poor counties in western China.
Results: We conducted three short comedy plays about common cold, hypertension and smoking. Performances wee about 15 minutes long and more than 3000 villagers come from at least ten villages in Gaolan country to watched our knowledge shows in local languages. Preliminary results showed that villagers were very interested in our shows and could understand the knowledge we delivered better. Pilot testing led us to increase the information about what we do not know. A second round of testing is being planned.
Conclusions: Pilot testing found that compared with other ways to disseminate knowledge and health education, a short comedy play in a local language is a more effective and attractive approach for knowledge translation particularly to 'illiterate and semi-illiterate' people.