More than words: Using visual graphics for community-based health research

Melody E. Morton Ninomiya


With increased attention to knowledge translation and community engagement in the applied health research field, many researchers aim to find effective ways of engaging health policy and decision makers and community stakeholders. While visual graphics such as graphs, charts, figures and photographs are common in scientific research dissemination, they are less common as a communication tool in research. In this commentary, I illustrate how and why visual graphics were created and used to facilitate dialogue and communication throughout all phases of a community-based health research study with a rural Indigenous community, advancing community engagement and knowledge utilization of a research study. I suggest that it is essential that researchers consider the use of visual graphics to accurately communicate and translate important health research concepts and content in accessible forms for diverse research stakeholders and target audiences.


Knowledge translation; communication; principle-based ethics; art

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