Readiness, willingness to learn, and health literacy are cornerstones of patient education, and a recent presentation reveals that infographics might be the way to go—especially when it comes to complex conditions.
Kathleen A. Kent, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, coordinator of the pediatric nurse practitioner program and clinical assistant professor at the Indiana University (IU) School of Nursing, Indianapolis, and Carol Clark, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, clinical assistant professor and coordinator of the family nurse practitioner program at IU, delivered a presentation at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners’ 40th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care in March discussing the benefit of using infographics for educating patients and parents.
Whereas infographics are beneficial for almost any type of education, Kent and Clark note that they are particularly helpful when it comes to educating parents on managing complex conditions, including atopic dermatitis (AD).
AD is all too common
Twenty percent of children suffer from AD, and half of children with the condition report that it has a severely negative impact on their quality of life. Children with AD often suffer from depression anxiety, have activity restrictions attributed to the disease, and their families become financially burdened by the cost of care. Parents also become frustrated with managing the condition, which mostly affects very young children, because treatments are time consuming and the condition is fraught with frequent relapses. For providers, the condition is also frustrating because it’s complex to manage, guidelines for treatment are outdated, and it’s difficult for parents to comply with plans of care.
“A family with a child affected by AD spends considerable time, energy, and money to care for this disorder. The treatment success is directly linked to compliance,” Kent says. “To enhance compliance, parents need simplistic instructions with as few steps as possible.”
Wake Forest researchers studied several methods of teaching parents about the care of AD in children, Kent notes.
“Eczema action plans were found to be the most successful method over group education and extra office visits to teach parents the treatment plan,” she says. “However, the existing eczema action plans are all text based, which is a challenge for most people but especially for those with low literacy.”
If it’s known that infographics improve comprehension, Kent says, it’s worth investigating whether applied infographic education-based tools can aid in the complex care of AD in children.
1. Kent KA, Clark CA. Utilizing an infographic patient education tool in the management of atopic dermatitis. Presented at: 40th National Conference on Pediatric Health Care; March 7-10, 2019; New Orleans, LA. Available at: https://www.napnap.org/sites/default/files/userfiles/Conferences/2019Speakerhandouts/222 - Kent.pdf. Accessed August 9. 2019.