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Using drawings to explore patients’ perceptions of their illness: a scoping review

Authors Cheung MMY, Saini B, Smith L

Received 21 August 2016

Accepted for publication 15 October 2016

Published 24 November 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 631—646


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Melissa Mei Yin Cheung, Bandana Saini, Lorraine Smith

Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia

Background: An emerging approach for investigating patient perspectives of their illness is the use of drawings.
This scoping review consolidates findings from current literature regarding the use of drawings to explore patients’ perceptions and experiences of their illness and treatment.
Methods: Electronic databases (Medline, PubMed, Embase, PsychINFO, Cinahl, Art Index and Scopus) and reference lists were searched to identify published English language studies using participant-generated drawings to explore adults’ perceptions and experiences of their illness and treatment. Using the scoping methodological framework, data were analyzed with respect to each study’s design, key findings and implications.
Results: Thirty-two studies were identified and these reflected diversities in both health conditions and methods of data collection and analysis. Participants’ drawings revealed new, insightful knowledge about patients’ perceptions, beliefs and experiences of their condition and were associated with clinical and psychological markers of health. Drawing was a powerful adjunct to traditional data collection approaches, and demonstrated potential benefits for participants. This review provides detailed insights and guidance on the use of drawings in research and clinical practice.
Conclusion: Drawing is a novel and potentially valuable technique for exploring patients’ perceptions and experiences about their illness and treatment. Advancing the methodology and applicability of drawings in this area will assist in the future development of this technique, with benefits for the patient, researcher and health care professional alike.

Keywords: scoping review, drawing, illness perceptions, patient experience

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