This paper presents a critical interpretive synthesis of research on the efficacy of comics in educating consumers on communicable diseases. Using this review methodology, the authors drew from empirical as well as non-empirical literature to develop a theoretical framework exploring the implications of comics' combination of images and text to communicate this health promoting information. The authors examined selected works' alignment with the four motivational components of Keller's ARCS Model (Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction) to evaluate research within the context of learner motivation. Findings of this research indicate comics offer a useful method for providing consumer health education, particularly regarding topics that individuals may have difficulty in discussing openly.
Curricular design that addresses residency physician competencies in communication skills and professionalism remains a challenge. Graphic Medicine (GM) uses comics, a medium combining text and images, to communicate healthcare concepts. Narrative Medicine, in undergraduate medical education, has limited reported usage in Graduate Medical Education (GME). Given the time constraints and intensity of GME, we hypothesized that comics as a form of narrative medicine would be an efficient medium to engage residents.The authors created a novel curriculum to promote effective communication and professionalism, focusing on empathy, compassion and cultural competency. A four-week curriculum was delivered in a neurology residency program. Excerpts from non-fiction graphic memoirs about neurological conditions were read, discussed, and paired with prompt-driven drawing exercises. Qualitative surveys were used to assess acceptability of comics, usefulness of comics to convey patient illness experience, and perception of patient needs for physician-patient communication. Ninety-seven percent of residents reported the sessions were a good use of their time. Residents identified new symptoms of neurologic disorders, articulated patient communication needs, and expressed increased empathy after participation. Residents participated in drawing exercises, but these were not formally analyzed. Graphic medicine is a well received format that may build communication skills and increase empathy
Though graphic narratives (or comics) now permeate popular culture, address every conceivable topic including illness and dying, and are used in educational settings from grade school through university, they have not typically been integrated into the medical school curriculum. This paper describes a popular and innovative course on comics and medicine for 4th-year medical students. In this course, students learn to critically read book length comics as well as create their own stories using the comics format. The rationale for the course, its general content and format, and methods for teaching are described. Finally, the author offers some reflections on why this medium resonates so powerfully with medical student learners.