The purpose of this individual project was to create an infographic that informed the user about one of the four healthcare procedures that were commonly requested and asked for by a patient or their caregiver. Our community partner, Dr. Stephanie VandenBerg, indicated that there can be a disconnect in communication between physicians and patients regarding decisions that affect a patient’s health care decisions. This infographic -- in partnership with the Choosing Wisely campaign -- aimed to promote conversations between the two parties that would help the patient choose health care options that are necessary, supported by evidence, free from harm and guided by their values.
The topic I chose to focus on was CTE scans in youth patients. As a hockey player, I am no stranger to head injuries and the concern they cause for the patient and their parents/guardians. However, the Choosing Wisely research suggested that CTE scans are not an immediately effective way to diagnose a head injury, since they expose the still-developing brain of a youth to concentrated levels of radiation.
To further understand this subject, I had to first look at available medical research about CTE scans and their effects on youth. This provided me with the information and data necessary to support the claim that CTE scans are most often not needed to diagnose a youth patient's head injury.
After gathering the necessary evidence through research, I then had to decide who the users of this infographic would most likely be. While the topic of the issue was youth healthcare, it was unlikely that the youth patient would be the primary decision-maker in such situations. Their parent or guardian would be the main audience member that the doctor would communicate with, and use this infographic to explain why a CTE scan may not be needed.
However, I thought that the youth patient could be -- and should be -- involved in the discussion of what medical procedures might have to happen, even if they are not responsible for the decision-making. This is what prompted me to craft a tagline that could be understood by both the parents and their children. I have always believed that design should be approachable, understandable and incorporate a degree of fun, if the subject matter allows for it.
Entitled "Mind Your Melon," the final infographic was designed as a visual tool that the doctor, parent and youth patient could all follow together to understand why a CTE scan should not be the first procedure that is demanded during the highly emotional time of a child's head injury. The title and corresponding watermelon colours act as a metaphor for a child's brain and head, which is still fragile and in development.
The icons and charts in the middle of the infographic help to give context to the user about how head injuries are classified using the Glasgow Coma Scale, how they are identified using different head injury rating systems and what the risks of mild, moderate and severe head traumas are.
The strong arc diagram at the bottom of the infographic is a visually powerful yet simple way to break down how many CTE scans are given out to youth patients, and how many scans actually result in a positive diagnosis by the end of the process. The arcs of the image also help to reinforce the watermelon theme.