Consider an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. This is the formal medical term required to be used on a consent form when an individual undergoes a diagnostic procedure where a scope is placed in the mouth, to visualize the tissue lining in the esophagus, all the way into the stomach and ending in the the duodenum. This is an easy concept, right? Now, think about the visual salience provided by the pictorial superiority effect when using graphical media to present risks and benefits for individuals with poor literacy. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Evidence supporting the effectiveness and acceptance of digital media for research and health care consent is increasing. Video informed consent has been shown to improve patient comprehension of various surgical procedures. Studies also show that computer-based educational interventions for chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and arthritis elicit a better understanding of the condition and provides a greater sense of control and empowerment.
With the expanding societal use of computers and the universal trend toward medical informatics and electronic medical records, it’s not a surprise that digital multimedia could offer unique opportunities for improving the approach to the informed consent process.
Stay tuned for my next post discussing healthcare's top technology hazards for 2015!