Relevance of graph literacy in the development of patient-centered communication tools

To determine the literacy skill sets of patients in the context of graphical interpretation of interactive dashboards.

We assessed literacy characteristics of prostate cancer patients and assessed comprehension of quality of life dashboards.

Health literacy, numeracy and graph literacy were assessed with validated tools. We divided patients into low vs. high numeracy and graph literacy. We report descriptive statistics on literacy, dashboard comprehension, and relationships between groups. We used correlation and multiple linear regressions to examine factors associated with dashboard comprehension.

Despite high health literacy in educated patients (78% college educated), there was variation in numeracy and graph literacy. Numeracy and graph literacy scores were correlated (r=0. 37). In those with low literacy, graph literacy scores most strongly correlated with dashboard comprehension (r=0. 59-0. 90). On multivariate analysis, graph literacy was independently associated with dashboard comprehension, adjusting for age, education, and numeracy level.

Even among higher educated patients; variation in the ability to comprehend graphs exists.

Clinicians must be aware of these differential proficiencies when counseling patients. Tools for patient-centered communication that employ visual displays need to account for literacy capabilities to ensure that patients can effectively engage these resources.

Patient education and counseling. 2015 Oct 09 [Epub ahead of print]

Jasmir G Nayak, Andrea L Hartzler, Liam C Macleod, Jason P Izard, Bruce M Dalkin, John L Gore

Departments of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, USA. , Departments of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. , Department of Urology, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. , Departments of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. , Departments of Urology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.



Newsletter subscription

Free Daily and Weekly newsletters offered by content of interest

The fields of GU Oncology and Urology are rapidly advancing. Sign up today for articles, videos, conference highlights and abstracts from peer-review publications by disease and condition delivered to your inbox and read on the go.