Information, treatment understated in images for educational resources about gout
Visual images used in educational resources for patients underrepresent key concepts about gout and treatment, with a huge number of images failing to convey useful information about gout or its management, a recent study has found.
The authors sought to determine which concepts about gout and its treatment were reflected in images used in online educational resources for patients. They carried out a Google search to identify English-language patient resources from medical and health organizations and health education websites in seven countries, namely Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, and US.
Images in the resources were independently coded by two raters into five main categories: clinical presentations of gout, urate/monosodium urate (MSU) crystals, medicines, food/healthy lifestyle, and other advice for people with gout.
One hundred three educational resources were identified, of which 28 had no images and were thus excluded. Seventy-one of the remaining resources, with a total of 310 images, were included in the study sample.
Of the 310 images, 92 (30 percent) depicted clinical presentations of gout, 73 described (24 percent) food/healthy lifestyle, 50 illustrated (16 percent) urate/MSU crystals, and 14 showed (5 percent) medicines. Only one image (0.3 percent) depicted urate-lowering medication and six (2 percent) a serum urate target.
On the other hand, 91 images (29 percent) did not communicate any specific information about gout.