Graphic Medicine as Physician Tool to Understand Their Patient's Experience of a Medical Condition Tom Janisse (The Permanente Journal, Portland, OR ) P1
Background Engaging patients in their healthcare, listening to their stories, and improving the quality of their experience also depends on physicians understanding their patient's experiences of a medical condition. Physicians have little time to converse with patients about this in the visit. Graphic Medicine - Comics -pictures and words together in sequence to tell a story - is a way to gain insight into a patient's experience of what it's like. Methods This is a small, mixed-method study to test the effect on physicians of reading a comic book, "My Degeneration: Parkinson's Disease." The 13 participants, including 11 physician-editors (representing 10 disciplines), answered a 7-question pre-survey before receiving and reading the book, and a 10-question post survey. Also, the 12 participants present at the recent Permanente Journal Editorial Team meeting, 3 days after the post survey, offered comments (60 minutes) on the survey results, then related their experience of reading the book, its attributes, and their recommendations for the comic book as an educational tool for residents and patients. Results Greatest Improvements were: "know patients' wants," (54%), "know treatments" (37%), "know patients' needs" (34%) and "know patients' experience" (30%). 82% recommended the comic book for resident education, and 73% for patients. Notable physician comments included: "My patients say: "Doc, you guys really need to understand what's going on for me. It's really hard for me."" Another senior editor who just disclosed he's been living with Parkinson's Disease for 10 years, exclaimed, "Excellent book! And I'm well into my 80s." Other comments were: "For a patient to have a conversation with his disease, as in the book, is a wonderful idea." "The things that people do to deal with their condition are remarkable!" "Combining pictures with words has triple the educational value for millennial residents who demand high yield." "Recommend for all who may be interested including family members." Conclusion A graphic comic format improves the level of knowledge and treatment of a chronic medical condition, and improves understanding of a patient's needs and wants from a physician, and the patient's experience, among a multi-disciplinary group of physician editors.