Really interesting new paper by the Cochran Library comparing the knowledge obtained from lay summary text versus infographics…
No difference in knowledge obtained from infographic or plain language summary of a Cochrane systematic review: three randomized controlled trials.
J Clin Epidemiol. 2018 May;97:86-94.
The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of an infographic in the translation of knowledge about health information from a Cochrane systematic review to lay and professional populations in comparison to a plain language summary (PLS) and scientific abstract (SA).
STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:
We conducted three parallel randomized trials with university students (n = 171), consumers (n = 99), and doctors (n = 64), to examine the effect of different summary formats of a Cochrane systematic review on the knowledge about health information presented in the review, reading experience, and perceived user-friendliness. In the trials involving students and doctors, an infographic was compared to a PLS and a SA, while in those with consumers, an infographic was compared to a PLS.
We found no difference in knowledge between the infographic and the text-based PLS in any of the trials or in the whole participant sample. All three participant groups preferred the infographic and gave it higher ratings for reading experience (d = 0.48 in the overall sample) and user-friendliness (d = 0.46 in the overall sample).
Although the infographic format was perceived as more enjoyable for reading, it was not better than a traditional, text-based PLS in the translation of knowledge about findings from a Cochrane systematic review.