• 6Aug

    Beyond words: empowering patients through film

    This article has been contributed by Kerry McLeod, British Heart Foundation. It provides an overview of the project they presented as a poster at the 2015 PiF Annual Conference. You can read more about the conference here.

    Poster BHF

    In 2011, BHF commissioned a major piece of research covering our information for adults, which included surveys and focus groups with individuals and healthcare professionals.

    One of the aims of this research was to explore how we can best reach people with a low level of health literacy, and video emerged as an effective way of reaching those who may find it difficult to understand the information their doctor tells them and who do not feel confident asking questions.

    So we embarked on a project to create short films on popular cardiovascular prevention and care topics, which took the form of two series: Your guide to heart tests and treatments, a series of 18 films representing real people undergoing common cardiac procedures and Risking it, a series of six films featuring people talking about changes they made to their lifestyle to help tackle their risk factors for CVD.

    When we started an evaluation of these films earlier this year, we learned some interesting lessons to both support and inform our work, including:

    • YouTube can be a great way to reach men. Our gender breakdown across our website and our publication orders is strongly female, but our YouTube demographic is 60% male.
    • It’s also not confined to younger audiences – our Tests and Treatments films continued to attract viewers in their 50s, 60s and older.
    • Different channels work better for different audiences – there’s still a demand for DVDs in healthcare settings where internet access is tricky or organisation firewalls block YouTube.

    For more patient information videos visit our website https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health