Patient Education Materials

Challenges

Global Oncology (GO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving cancer care in resource-limited settings. A recurring challenge for medical practitioners in these communities is the difficulty of balancing the level of detail necessary to adequately describe cancer, treatment, and self-care recommendations in an understandable way for a low-literate audience.

GO approached THE MEME to help design culturally appropriate patient education materials to facilitate conversations between medical practitioners, patients and their caregivers about cancer symptoms, side effects of chemotherapy treatment, and patient care at home. These materials should also support medical staff in their efforts to improve patient adherence to treatment and consistency in their medical care.

Watch a video introduction to the project.

Our Work

The booklet Cancer and You was developed as a communication tool that could be easily reproduced and shared in different low-resource settings. It follows a question-answer format and has been translated into Chichewa (Malawi), Kinyarwanda (Rwanda) and Creole (Haiti), locations where it is being used.

THE MEME developed a series of illustrations that emphasize clarity of expression, ease of interpretation and emotion in order to visually communicate sensitive health information. The focus is on the use of body language and facial expression to convey physical conditions and sensations. Subtle indication of context is achieved through diverse physiognomies and garment styles, aiming to strike a balance between culturally appropriate images for current local communities and future global distribution.

Materials have been revised based on feedback and preliminary results from the pilots which will be distributed more widely to other resource-limited settings. In the future, a more robust impact evaluation will be conducted in order to further assess the effectiveness and ease of use of the materials in low-resource settings. A series of different additional audiences are being considered as well as other types of educational materials and tools, both analog and digital.