Show, don’t just tell: Photo stories to support people with limited health literacy

Ruth Koops van 't Jagt

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    1386 Downloads (Pure)


    People with limited health literacy have a poorer comprehension of health documents and often have difficulties in healthcare interactions. This thesis explores ways to improve health-related documents in order to support people with limited health literacy, by studying methods to support comprehension of health information materials and methods to support interactions with health care professionals.
    Central in this thesis is the use of photo stories in health communication. Photo stories are a visual type of narratives, with photographs and captions. Literature shows that such narratives are promising to support people with limited health literacy. In multiple studies with participants from the target group, we explored the best design and assessed the effects of photo stories about interacting with healthcare professionals.
    Together with older adults, we created a booklet about patient-doctor interactions with seven photo stories based on social learning theory and ideas about how stories work, covering themes and strategies that older adults brought up. In a qualitative study participants reported a clear preference for the photo stories above a similar traditional brochure, but no significant differences were found in a quantitative study. Patients in waiting rooms of primary health care centres, however, reported that they had noticed photo stories more often than traditional brochures that were also present.
    In sum, photo stories seem promising to support people with limited health literacy. Further research is needed to explore the impact of narratives and photo stories on people with limited health literacy and to study the effects on patient-doctor interactions.
    Translated title of the contributionVan vertellen naar vertonen: Fotostrips om mensen met beperkte gezondheidsvaardigheden te ondersteunen
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Jansen, C. J. M. , Supervisor
    • Reijneveld, Menno, Supervisor
    • Hoeks, John, Supervisor
    • de Winter, Andrea, Co-supervisor
    Award date12-Jul-2018
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-034-0806-4
    Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0805-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    Dive into the research topics of 'Show, don’t just tell: Photo stories to support people with limited health literacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this