On effective graphic communication of health inequality: Considerations for health policy researchers

Yukiko Asada, Hannah Abel, Chris Skedgel, Grace Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Policy Points:
- Effective graphs can be a powerful tool in communicating health inequality. The choice of graphs is often based on preferences and familiarity rather than science.
- According to the literature on graph perception, effective graphs allow human brains to decode visual cues easily. Dot charts are easier to decode than bar charts, and thus they are more effective. Dot charts are a flexible and versatile way to display information about health inequality.
- Consistent with the health risk communication literature, the captions accompanying health inequality graphs should provide a numerical, explicitly calculated description of health inequality, expressed in absolute and relative terms, from carefully thought-out perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-835
Number of pages35
JournalMilbank Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date11 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • health inequality
  • graphs
  • communication

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