Evaluating the Use of Pictograms for the Improvement in Patient Understanding of Medication Instruction–A Pilot Study

  •  Dominique Hanslo    
  •  Velisha Ann Perumal-Pillay    
  •  Fatima Suleman    


The first step in ensuring patient compliance is to ensure that the patient understands how to use their medication. The aim of the study was to determine if patients understanding of medication use can be improved by using pictograms. A simple randomized control test was set up whereby 50 patients were selected to participate, of which 25 people were included in the test group to receive medication labels based on pictograms as well as the usual counselling and 25 people were included in the control group and received the usual labelling of their medication and counselling. Questionnaires were used to determine the patient’s demographic information and health literacy on the day of inclusion into the study, while another questionnaire was completed 3 to 7 days later to determine patient understanding of how to use their medication and if they used their medication correctly. At a 95% confidence interval and p<0.05 there is a relationship between improved understanding and the use of pictograms. Pictograms improve patient’s understanding of how to use their medication, which in turn lead to an improvement in adherence.

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