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Evaluation of a paper and electronic pictorial COPD action plan

Roberts, N.J.; Partridge, M.R.


M.R. Partridge


Personalised written action plans are increasingly regarded as an important component of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) self-management support and yet they may not be understood by those with limited literacy skills. This study was designed to produce a comprehensible pictorial COPD action plan for use by patients and health care professionals. With advice from a group of doctors and nurses a 'standard' written COPD action plan was translated by a medical artist into a series of pictorial images. These were assessed using the techniques of guessability and translucency in 21 adults attending a COPD clinic in a London hospital. Guessability and translucency scores show that pictograms were reasonably well understood, with only 3 pictograms showing low score in both guessability and translucency questionnaires. These included images depicting increased sputum production, swollen ankles, and use of extra doses of reliever medication. However, after brief spoken reinforcement about self-management, most patients could use the pictorial plan to suggest appropriate self-management behaviour such as when to access medical care. We have developed a pictorial COPD action plan. Pictorial methods represent an effective method of reinforcing the spoken word for all ranges of literacy.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Feb 21, 2011
Publication Date 2011-02
Deposit Date Aug 30, 2022
Journal Chronic Respiratory Disease
Print ISSN 1479-9723
Electronic ISSN 1479-9731
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 1
Pages 31-40
Keywords self-management, COPD, pictorial, health literacy
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