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This is the second half of the “Comics in Patient Education” panel from this year’s Graphic Medicine conference in Toronto. If you are able, be sure to check out the images that accompany both the talks as they are quite impressive!
First up is Lydia Gregg with her paper, “Interpreting the unfamiliar: comics as a tool for improving care of pediatric patients with retinoblastoma.” The comic and treatment diary Lydia discusses can be viewed on the study webpage by clicking the image.
Lydia Gregg is an Instructor and Certified Medical Illustrator in the Division of Interventional Neuroradiology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she specializes in depicting neurovascular anatomy and conditions for both medical and patient education. The paper she is presenting is co-authored by Lydia Gregg, Amber Jones, Philippe Gailloud and Monica Pearl, with animation by Amy Dixon. The description of the paper follows:
My Diary for Intra-Arterial Retinoblastoma Treatment addresses two challenges in treating children enrolled in a study on the efficacy of retinoblastoma treatment: 1) Patients are generally poor at recalling pain intensity over time, 2) Patients who lack education regarding their treatment often have higher anxiety levels. The book addresses these issues by engaging the child and parent with a comic that explains the importance of the diary and procedure. Characters guide the viewer through the diary, creating a continuum between the characters’ and patient’s story. Preliminary clinical experiences and the content of the comic will be discussed.
Alex Thomas is an award-winning cartoonist and pediatric allergist. He earned his medical degree from Rush Medical College and completed both his residency in pediatrics and fellowship in allergy and immunology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. Gary Ashwal received a master’s degree in health communication from Emerson College and Tufts University School of Medicine, and he has produced healthcare content for City of Hope, Melanoma Education Foundation, Providence Health & Services, Elekta, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and others.
The description of their paper follows:
“Iggy and the Inhalers” is an applied research project that utilizes the language of comics to help newly-diagnosed pediatric asthma patients of
different health literacy levels to understand the basics of asthma pathophysiology, signs, symptoms, medication-use, and triggers. The series
is entirely created, drawn, and produced by physician and cartoonist Alex Thomas and health communication specialist Gary Ashwal. This presentation will share the project’s theoretical foundations, development process, audience testing, and clinical pilot study at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. The goal of the project is to support asthma specialists and augment one-on-one patient education.