Mapping the Use of Comics in Health Education: A Scoping Review of the Graphic Medicine Literature
Matthew N. Noe, MSLS ; Leonard L. Levin, MS LIS, MA, AHIP
Special thanks to Suzana Makowski, MD, MMM, CPE
This project was made possible with a Mapping the Landscape, Journeying Together
grant from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Research Institute.
As many of you will remember, since Fall 2016, I have been discussing a scoping review project on the use of comics in education – a project that emerged out of the receipt of a Gold Foundation Mapping the Landscape Grant. In short, “this study sought to map the use of comics in health education to better understand: a) what populations are targeted and b) what effect(s) their use have.”
You have likely seen our mid-point reporting in the form of a comics post illustrated by Kelly Lund. One panel is highlighted in this post, while you can find all of them in the UMass Medical School Library eScholarship Repository. I have also spoken on various pieces of the review’s results at numerous conferences, including to some extant at the recent New England Graphic Medicine Conference.
Suffice it to say, it is now Summer 2020 and this project has stretched well-beyond the intended end date. In fact, we’ve now reached the point where it is becoming increasingly clear the scope of graphic medicine has changed drastically since this scoping review began. While I don’t have the numbers in front of me, based on my efforts to keep up-to-date, I can tell you there has been at least as much published on comics in healthcare since 2017 than there was in all the time before then. That’s significant. Our review covers up until Fall 2017.
In light of the length of time that’s passed since a significant update to this analysis and the authors’ desire to share this information as widely and openly as possible, I am happy to now share with you the results of our scoping review here directly! Below you will find downloadable PDFs of our article and two appendices – one with search strategies and one with a list of included studies. Please make note of the narrow scope of this review – it is specifically looking at instances of comics and health education, NOT all instances of scholarship on graphic medicine.
As we state in the paper’s conclusion: “It is the authors’ hope that this review serve as a starting point for this future research, so that efforts can be focused on looking forward and building on the work of the past – without necessarily having to go searching for it.”
If you have questions or comments about this work, please contact me (Matthew Noe) directly and I will be glad to talk with you.