Understanding health information and services can be difficult for many individuals seeing as a certain level of health literacy is required to ensure positive treatment results and good health. Health literacy is defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Unfortunately, the health of children, mothers, and the entire population of multiple countries across the world is severely compromised due to factors affecting the individual’s health literacy level. These factors are the following: age, education attainment, and immigration status. Independent of health literacy, disease states and language barriers may also impair the ability to follow treatment regimens. This project focuses on the use of pictograms, which are images portraying distinct messages, as a method to mitigate the impact of these factors to improve health outcomes.
Pictograms have been studied to improve the quality and accessibility of health information for patients. Using pictograms in conjunction to verbal and written directions presented to patients has deemed to enhance patient understanding and adherence of medical instructions. Furthermore, pictograms have been shown to increase short-term and long-term memory of complex medical instructions in patients who have minimal reading skills.
Future funding will aid to further advance word-wide use of patient counselling pictograms in order to overcome these barriers that exist between patients and health care providers. Funds will also support the validation of new pharmaceutical pictograms. A set of pictograms to label prescriptions have been developed and validated. These pictograms are now available to all individuals, at the following link.
The FIP Foundation is proud to support the development of this project.