Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp e91–e94 | Cite as

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

  • Melody E. Morton NinomiyaEmail author


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.


Avec l’attention croissante que l’on porte à l’application des connaissances et à la mobilisation communautaire dans le domaine de la recherche appliquée en santé, de nombreux chercheurs cherchent des moyens efficaces d’intéresser les responsables et les décideurs des politiques de santé et les acteurs communautaires. Bien que l’on utilise couramment des éléments graphiques de visualisation (graphes, diagrammes, figures et photographies) pour diffuser la recherche scientifique, on les utilise moins souvent comme outils de communication dans la recherche. Dans mon commentaire, j’explique comment et pourquoi des éléments graphiques de visualisation ont été créés et utilisés pour faciliter le dialogue et la communication à toutes les étapes d’une étude de recherche en santé communautaire auprès d’une communauté rurale autochtone, ce qui a favorisé la mobilisation communautaire et l’utilisation des connaissances de l’étude. Je suggère qu’il est essentiel que les chercheurs songent à utiliser des éléments graphiques de visualisation pour communiquer avec précision, et pour appliquer d’importants concepts et contenus de recherche en santé sous des formes accessibles aux divers acteurs et aux publics cibles de la recherche.

Key Words

Knowledge translation communication principle-based ethics art 

Mots Clés

application des connaissances communication éthique basée sur les principes art 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Well Living House, Centre for Urban Health Solutions (C-UHS), Li Ka Shing Knowledge InstituteSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoCanada

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