Using visual aids to increase adherence, comprehension and recall of medical instructions, health education, and medical device instructions.
Event Type
Poster Presentation
TimeThursday, April 152:00pm - 3:00pm EDT
LocationMedical and Drug Delivery Devices
DescriptionWith the increase of lay-caregivers and increasing demands being placed on them, increased complexity of self-care, and an increase in combination or medical devices used in the home, instructions increasingly play a critical role in health outcomes. This is further exacerbated with patients and caregivers who have low literacy. This poster will outline the effects of visual aids on adherence, comprehension, and recall when used to supplement written or spoken information in medical instructions, health education, and medical device instructions and the effects on patients with low literacy levels. This literature review looked specifically at medical instructions, health education, and medical device instructions. For these topics measuring adherence, comprehension, and recall of written or spoken instructions, with or without visual aids was compared. Research showed that the addition of visual aids to written or spoken instructions can positively impact adherence, comprehension, and recall, which can lead to better patient outcomes. Simpler, larger, quantitative, regional, and reinforcing visual aids provided the largest improvements, especially with patients with low literacy. Three studies of adherence with and without visual aids were reviewed which combined suggested that visual aids increased self-reported adherence to instructions or decreased ambiguity of instructions which could lead to an increase in adherence to instructions. Fifteen studies were reviewed to look at the impact of visual aids on comprehension and recall. These studies were then grouped by whether or not the control instructions were spoken or written. Studies of spoken instructions without visual aids improved dramatically when visual aids were introduced (e.g., recall increasing from 14.2% to 84.8%). Studies that had written instructions without visual aids as their control condition did not improve as much, but did show dramatic improvement. Literacy level is known to have a big impact on health outcomes, however, lower literacy showed a smaller negative impact from visual aids than from written text. The impact of Additional research on visual aid best practices and variables to consider is proposed and future work is suggested.
Human Factors and Usability Researcher
Associate Professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering