A different perspective on health outcomes

Regular followers of the patientoutcomeblog will know that a key part of our work here at DHP Research is establishing both innovative and  effective ways of communicating patient reported outcome (PRO) and experience information. Because we believe that the clear and concise communication of research findings is essential for effective decision-making.

In previous blogs we have discussed the power of story-telling and presenting research results as a compelling narrative in contrast to the traditional ‘building block’ approach which normally looks something look like this:

  • Aim of the study
  • Methods
  •  Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

While this approach stays true to the conventional model; by presenting the data in a detached manner free from interpretation as well as being extremely valuable for certain studies, its downside include:

  • Key messages may get lost in the data
  • Unlikely to engage the audience
  • Results in a gap between the data presented and the decision that need to be made

In sharp contrast, the narrative approach identifies the key issues relating to the problem under investigation and focuses on these together with supporting evidence as the narrative unfolds.

Of course as already mentioned this method will not be suitable for all studies. What we are trying to do is to look at the range of studies with the view that the ‘building block’ approach should not be the ‘default.’

Combined with use of the narrative is the use of infographics which are visual representations of information, data or knowledge which are able to present complex information quickly and clearly.

As humans we want to understand complex information without too much effort on our part, so whenever possible we take the easy route of absorbing and interpreting information. To help us to do this our brain has conveniently been divided so the right brain is visual and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The left brain on the other hand is verbal and processes information in an analytic and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole picture.

With this in mind we’ve looked at ways in which key facts about diabetes can be visually communicated as part of our work in presenting patient reported outcome results in a simple, visually  and effective way.

We would like to share these with you and would also welcome your comments.

Please click on the image to view a larger size


Categories: Patient reported experience

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