Beyond Words: Imagery’s Power in Health Education

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Last week I read about a Toronto artist using comics to teach about birth control, which is pretty great. Rebecca Roher teamed up with gynecologist Dr. Aparna Sridhar to create resources that are medically accurate, something Dr. Sridhar says she sees as a needed alternate to Dr. Google and the anecdotal information often found in online forums. However convincing someone might be in a forum, they aren’t a doctor examining you and your medical history. Read more

How We Speak of Each Other’s Health

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Vancouver has been unusually bound by snow and ice this winter, reminding me vividly of a couple of things. One- people who drive in Vancouver are inexperienced with snow. We just don’t get enough on a regular basis to maintain good skills. Two- we are all temporarily able-bodied, as an advocate friend of mine says.

At the beginning and end of our lives, and for some of us at other points as well, we will be dependent on others to help with our mobility and often at the simplest things- food, personal care. Snowy and icy sidewalks that were left uncleared reminded me of this as I watched people struggle and skidded about myself.

There is no us and them. Read more

Friday Finds: For Better and for Worse in Health Communications

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It’s been a busy week. I haven’t been on Twitter much, because sometimes you just have to let it go. When I did hop onto Feedly here and there, I was glad to see these pieces on health communications.

What pulls all of these pieces together for me is their health literacy element. Simply defined, health literacy is the ability to understand health information so you can make informed choices. Life isn’t that simple though- health information might not always be health information; it could be advertising in disguise. Readers need to be aware what kind of information they’re reading. Is it advertising or education, or both? Read more

Why Use Data Visualization in Health Communications?

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patrickdinnen_data_flickrcc
I’ve never been to a presentation that started off with the audience drawing pictures, but it was a great place to start on the topic of data visualization. Everyone at last night’s Evening Rounds event was asked to draw as many representations as we could of two numbers. Starting her introductory overview of data visualization, presenter Ana Crisan told us that this drawing exercise has been a good eye-opener for those working in the field. Read more