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Using Photo Stories to Support Doctor-Patient Communication: Evaluating a Communicative Health Literacy Intervention for Older Adults

Koops van 't Jagt, R., Tan, S. L., Hoeks, J., Spoorenberg, S., Reijneveld, S. A., de Winter, A. F., Lippke, S. & Jansen, C., 2019, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16, 19, 18 p., 3726.

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Older adults often have limited health literacy and experience difficulties in communicating about their health. In view of the need for efficacious interventions, we compared a narrative photo story booklet regarding doctor-patient communication with a non-narrative but otherwise highly similar brochure. The photo story booklet included seven short picture-based stories about themes related to doctor-patient communication. The non-narrative brochure had comparable pictures and layout and dealt with the same themes, but it did not include any stories. We conducted two Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) among older adults with varying levels of health literacy: one RCT in Germany (N = 66) and one RCT in the Netherlands (N = 54); the latter one was followed by an in-depth interview study among a subset of the participants (81.5%; n = 44). In the RCTs, we did not find significant differences between the photo story booklet and the non-narrative brochure. In the interview study, a majority of the participants expressed a preference for the photo story booklet, which was perceived as recognizable, relevant, entertaining and engaging. We conclude that photo story booklets are a promising format but that there is room for improving their effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3726
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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