Winter SChool

VISUAL COMMUNICATION IN CONSULTATIONS >

SUPERVISOR: Gemma Teal

RESEARCH QUESTION:

In what ways can we support the use of visual communication within consultations to enable clinicians to engage and inform people living with long-term conditions?

RESEARCH CONTEXT / INQUIRY:

The increasing prevalence of long-term conditions is the main challenge facing health systems worldwide [1]. In Scotland, it is estimated that 47 per cent of the adult population have at least one long term condition and the number of people who live with multiple and complex conditions is growing [2]. There is an opportunity to explore the use of visual communication within health consultations, and understand the role this plays in supporting people living with health conditions to better understand, self-manage and live well with their condition(s).

INNOVATION CHALLENGE:

Through our engagements with health professionals, we have identified a pattern in the use of hand-drawn visual communication to explain complex information about health conditions. Examples include sketches of: graphs to communicate the relationships of blood glucose, diet and exercise for people living with diabetes and ‘under the microscope’ views of stomach cells for people living with coeliac disease.By understanding the current use of visual communication and what value this has for people living with long-term conditions, we can identify opportunities to support sharing of best practice between health professionals, and propose new resources to facilitate visual communication within consultations.

  

  1. World Health Organization. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010. Geneva: World Health Organization. 2011. 
  2. Scottish Government. The Scottish Health Survey. 2016.