Infographics and/or Pictograms and Medication Adherence: A Scoping Review


  • Abdullah Chanzu Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, CAN Designs that Cell, Halifax, NS, CAN
  • Molly Wells Faculty of Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, CAN Designs that Cell, Halifax, NS, CAN
  • Natasha Vitkin Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, CAN Designs that Cell, Halifax, NS, CAN
  • Sarah Nersesian Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, CAN Designs that Cell, Halifax, NS, CAN



Introduction: Medication adherence is the act of following medication instructions from a health care provider. Infographics and pictograms are visual science communication tools that have been shown to improve medication adherence. Objective: To synthesize and critically evaluate literature surrounding the use of infographics and pictograms in medication adherence. Methods: We conducted a literature search on PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and PsycInfo with the purpose of identifying literature published between the years 2000 and 2022. Primary research articles were included for quantitative analysis if they explored/reported the following topics and/or outcomes: (a) infographics and/or pictograms as the exposure of interest and (b) adherence, comprehension, or health outcomes as the outcome measures. Results: 30 studies were included in the results. Outcome measures assessed included (a) comprehension and understanding of factors surrounding medication adherence, (b) medication adherence, and (c) health outcomes. Our review of the studies showed that 87.5% of studies measuring outcome (a), 78.2% of those measuring outcome (b), and 100% of those measuring outcome (c) found improvements when using infographics or pictograms. Conclusion: Our review supports the use of infographics and pictograms as a means of improving medication adherence among a diverse set of demographics, illnesses, and treatments. Practice Implications: Infographics and pictograms are useful tools to improve medication adherence. When these tools are designed carefully, they increase the accessibility of medication information in a wide range of patient populations.


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