Design to Improve the Health Education Experience: Using Participatory Design Methods in Hospitals with Clinicians and Patients

By Paulovich, Belinda | Visible Language, April 2015 | Go to article overview

Design to Improve the Health Education Experience: Using Participatory Design Methods in Hospitals with Clinicians and Patients


Paulovich, Belinda, Visible Language


ABSTRACT

Poor communication in health is a persistent problem. Transient conversations, extreme time constraints, stress, trauma, clinical factors and the restrictive environment make effective communication between health professionals and patients difficult to achieve. Children, especially, are often positioned as passive participants in the healthcare paradigm. It is hypothesized that providing children with visual health information (well-designed, accurate, age appropriate, and presented in a way that they can understand,) can empower them to take charge of their health and well-being. For visual health education materials to be effective, accurate, and engaging, they need to be designed with input from design practitioners, health experts, and the target audience. However, constraints within the health field, such as restricted access to patients, make this difficult. Furthermore, when children are involved, ethical and practical obstacles can hinder the process. The research presented in this paper navigates the complexities of the health field and presents a realistic participatory design model that responds to the specific challenges associated with designing in a healthcare environment. The efficacy of the approach is demonstrated through successful designs and positive health professional feedback.

KEYWORDS

health communication, health education, participatory design, qualitative research, user-centered design

INTRODUCTION

Graphics are not generally seen by health authorities as the primary way of communicating information to children (Dowse, 2004), yet it has been shown that picture-based messages are preferred by most people (the "picture superiority effect") (Dowse, 2004; Katz, Kripalani, & Weiss, 2006; Lidwell, Holden, & Butler, 2003). As well as being more accessible, visual materials that are distributed to patients are a permanent source of information (Dowse, 2004; Groves & Fitzgerald, 2010). They can be referred to in the patient's own time, making them less transient than face-to-face verbal communication. The material can be viewed and comprehended at a pace dictated by the patient (Klug Redman, 1993; Purtilo & Haddad, 2002), rather than received by verbal communication which must often be comprehended within time constraints.

The literature surrounding visual communication design for children is sparse, with the majority of studies being market-research oriented and commercially driven. While it is important to understand the target audience and their motives, greater importance should be given to children's comprehension of vital health information. It has been demonstrated that young patients are less anxious if they are told what is going to happen to them clearly and honestly. They find it useful to know the order of events (Lloyd & Bor, 2009, 112) and are more interested in concrete information on current experiences rather than possible consequences in the distant future (Rapoza, 2003, 260).

It may be argued that children lack the maturity to understand complex health information. Children may be perceived as lacking the knowledge and experience needed to make informed choices (Buckingham, 2011). Furthermore, issues such as low health literacy and age-related cognitive abilities may impact children's comprehension of presented information (Terre, 2009). There are also several psychosocial factors specific to children that may affect their healthcare experience. For instance, child patients are dependent on a parent or guardian in relation to medical care and decision making. This lack of power positions child patients as passive bystanders in the healthcare paradigm (Lambert, Glacken & McCarron, 2010). In addition, the culturally defined power dichotomy that exists between patients and health professionals adds to the passive positioning of the patient. However, by making health information available and accessible, we can empower child patients to take control of their own health, giving them a sense of independence and competence which may foster better health outcomes and psychosocial well-being. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Design to Improve the Health Education Experience: Using Participatory Design Methods in Hospitals with Clinicians and Patients
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.