Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pictures for patient education - why they work

Pictures for patient education - why they work Show or draw pictures to enhance patients’ understanding and recall The saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” is particularly true when communicating with patients who may have trouble understanding medical concepts delivered in words. It has long been known that visual images are remembered better than letters and words. That is why we often recall a person’s face but not their name, or the picture on a book’s cover, but not the name or author of the book. Research shows that pictures enhance patients’
understanding of what they need to do. Pictures are not substitutes, however, for written or verbal communication, as understanding is best when pictures are combined with written or verbal
explanations. Furthermore, the most effective pictures are simple.

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