Comunicação em evento científico
Visual communication in health promotion – A new approach to health literacy
Duarte Vital Brito (Vital Brito, D); Ana Alexandrino da Silva (Alexandrino da Silva, A.);
Título Evento
International Conference on Communication in Healthcare
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Background: Health literacy is often mentioned as a crucial determinant for population health promotion. There are three main strategies to promote health literacy: verbal communication, written communication and visual aids. While verbal and written communication are well covered and validated, the use of visual aids in health is still an investigation gap in most countries, apart from its importance in simplifying medical information and facilitating knowledge transfer to patients. This strategy may require some adjustment but it is possible to apply it both in countries without technological equipment (focusing in healthcare facilities and printed materials) and countries with a well-developed information technology (IT) network (focusing in healthcare facilities, mobile and online communities), regardless from patients’ literacy. Methods: Medical information can be translated into more appealing formats, increasing people focus and memorization: pictures, infographics, schemes, comics and videos. Numerical information is also convertible to easily understanding materials. Findings: A recent study estimated a 73% prevalence of limited health literacy in the Portuguese population, using the newest vital sign for the assessment of literacy in primary care. There is no detailed data related with the use of healthcare visual communication in Portugal, but various studies in Europe and America with specific population groups (mainly elderly, pregnant women and children) found a positive impact on the use of visual aids in overcoming medical information barriers, promoting patients’ understanding and knowledge transference (e.g. Marie Neurath’s malaria communication materials are a simple but effective example of this approach to medical communication). Discussion: Health policies and healthcare workers should guarantee that patients understand their health status, diseases and treatments. Information design is described as “the art and science of translating complex, unstructured data into useful information that can be used with efficiency and effectiveness” and it is a new tool that can be widely used in health promotion. Therefore, a broader approach to health is essential, including a communication and visualization perspective with a common objective: address patients’ barriers to medical information and provide more appealing and understandable educational materials, using visual aids as main drivers.
Public Healthcare,Information visualization,Data analysis and visualization,health literacy
  • Ciências da Computação e da Informação - Ciências Naturais
  • Ciências da Saúde - Ciências Médicas
  • Outras Ciências Médicas - Ciências Médicas
  • Ciências da Comunicação - Ciências Sociais
  • Artes - Humanidades