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Photostrip series ‘How to Talk to your Doctor’ to help patients talk to their GP

26 May 2015
Fragment of a photostrip

The photostrip series ‘How to Talk to your Doctor’ will be presented at the University of Groningen in Harmoniegebouw at 5 p.m. on Thursday 28 May. Ruth Koops van 't Jagt, a PhD student at the University of Groningen, developed the series of seven photostrips as part of the European health literacy project IROHLA. The photostrips, which will be published both digitally and on paper, cover seven common themes in GP consultations with older patients.

For her PhD, Koops van 't Jagt is researching health communication with older people with limited health literacy. Health literacy relates to people’s ability to understand and apply information about their health, and thus reach their own decisions about it.


Koops van 't Jagt developed and produced the strips together with Ype Driessen from and actors from the Groningen theatre group Het Derde Bedrijf. The aim of the strips is to give patients ‘social scripts’ that should boost their self-confidence during GP appointments. The themes were determined following focus-group discussions with older patients with diminished health literacy. They include getting the doctor to listen, preparing for a consultation, the use of jargon and uncertainty about taking medication.

The digital versions will be published on sites such as, an online resource for anyone wishing to improve their basic skills. The paper versions will be available in the waiting rooms at doctors’ surgeries, for example. The photostrips will also be published in English, German, Italian and Hungarian, and will be tested in the near future in various studies.

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Last modified:07 September 2020 2.09 p.m.
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