Comics change behavior as well as minds
In three studies, graphic storytelling helped communicators:
Build safety involvement.
Six out of 10 members of a building trade union pledged to get more active in union health and safety activities after reading a photo novel about asbestos hazards. Just four in 10 who read a booklet covering the same material thought they’d get more involved. That’s a 50% difference in involvement.
Make the medicine go down.
Women in rural Cameroon took 90% of the pills they were prescribed after seeing illustrated instructions. Those who received only verbal instructions took just 78% of the pills they were supposed to take. That’s an increase of 15%.
Get patients to take better care themselves.
More than three-quarters of those who’d received the cartoon instructions were compliant with daily wound care vs. about half of patients who’d received text-only instructions. That’s a difference of 43%.
How can you use comic strips, cartoons
and other graphic storytelling approaches to move people to act?
Sources: D.L. Roter, R.E. Rudd, J. Keogh, B. Robinson, “Worker produced health education material for the construction trades,” International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 1987, Vol. 7, pp. 109–21
C. Delp and J. Jones, “Communicating information to patients: the use of cartoon illustrations to improve comprehension of instructions,” Academy of Emergency Medicine, Vol. 3, 1996, pp. 264–70.
Peter S. Houts, Cecilia C. Doak, Leonard G. Doak, Matthew J. Loscalzo, “The Role of Pictures in Improving Health Communication: A Review of Research on Attention, Comprehension, Recall, and Adherence” (PDF), Patient Education and Counseling,Vol. 61, 2006, pp.173-190.