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Health Info Libr J. 2017 Mar;34(1):20-31. doi: 10.1111/hir.12145. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

The potential of educational comics as a health information medium.

Author information

1
Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate ways in which educational comics might provide support in dealing with feelings and attitudes towards health conditions, as well as improving understanding of factual information and to identify potential weakness of comics as a medium for health information.

METHODS:

Semi-structured interviewees with eleven university students who either had a mental or physical health condition themselves or had a family member with a health condition.

RESULTS:

The result highlighted the potential value of comics as a format for health information. In addition to conveying factual information, comics offer opportunities for self-awareness, reassurance, empathy, companionship and a means to explore the impact of illness on family relationships. However, there are notable barriers to the greater use of comics to provide health information, namely, a lack of awareness of, and easy access to, educational comics, along with the perception that comics are exclusively light-hearted and for children.

CONCLUSIONS:

Currently, the full potential of comics in health settings is not being realised. Health information professionals may be in a position to address this issue through identifying, cataloguing, indexing and promoting comics as a legitimate format for health information.

KEYWORDS:

bibliotherapy; consumer health information; health information needs; information sources; interviews, learning; patient information; qualitative research

PMID:
27293082
PMCID:
PMC5347844
DOI:
10.1111/hir.12145
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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