Thursday, September 27, 2007

In Other Words...Teaching with Pictures - Health Literacy

In Other Words...Teaching with Pictures - Health Literacy: "Pictographs Convey a Lot of Information Quickly Pictographs are a special type of graphics. They are simple drawings that represent ideas, and they can help a person grasp, understand, and remember medical information quickly. Pictographs have a long history, dating back to cave-wall paintings and renaissance stain glass windows. Today, road signs are a common example of pictographs. A sign with a simple picture of a school bus, for example, conveys the more complex message not only that a school bus is likely to go down the, but also that drivers should be alert to the possibility that children might walk across the road. “Pictographs can also be cues to help people remember spoken information,” says Peter Houts, PhD, professor emeritus at Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, and research associate at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. Houts is currently researching the use of pictographs to help cancer patients and AIDS patients who read below a fifth grade level remember medical instructions. Using simple drawings of patients, doctors, nurses, and family members, Houts has created a series of pictographs that show low literacy patients and family caregivers how to recognize a medical emergency as well as how to avoid medical emergencies. A sampling of these pictographs can be seen on the Johns Hopkins Oncol"

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