Adolescent Reproductive Health and Information Visualization

​​​​​​Adriana Arcia (PhD, RN) and Lauren Chernick (MD, MSc)

Ethical care must be responsive to the needs of the patient, including their information and learning needs. Adolescence is a time of rapid learning, in which young people acquire and begin to maintain lifelong health-promoting behaviors. Health education strategies that are acceptable for adults may fail to engage and motivate adolescents. Therefore, providing ethical care to adolescents means using techniques that are appropriate for them. Information visualization (e.g., cartoons, infographics) is one such technique.


In this interactive workshop, we apply information visualization to the case study of teaching about adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Effective teaching is essential for this topic because adolescents may have few opportunities to get high-quality information about this subject if their family or culture consider it to be taboo. We propose an interprofessional activity because each health discipline can contribute valuable insights about adolescents’ needs from their unique body of knowledge.


We propose the following activity outline:
10 min – Introductions
20 min – Background on adolescent SRH and visualizations
40 min – Hands-on small group activity: make your own adolescent SRH visualization
5 min – Closing


By the end of this workshop, the learner will be able to:
1) Discuss the most pressing adolescent SRH issues and how these are influenced by developmental stages;
2) Describe the communicative role of information visualizations;
3) Apply knowledge of adolescents’ developmental stages to selecting an appropriate visualization format; and
4) Sketch a visualization that addresses an adolescent SRH topic.