Measuring Nurses’ Graph Literacy
Increasingly, healthcare data used in nursing practice is visualized using graphs. However, studies show that low graph literacy is found in significant numbers in both the general population and in nurses. Even so, the concept of graph literacy is relatively unknown within healthcare and measuring baseline graph literacy isn’t standardized. The 4-item GLS questionnaire is a brief, validated, healthcare-domain-specific scale developed by Galesic and Garcia-Retamero (2011), and assesses graph literacy by measuring comprehension of four frequently used graphs (simple pie, bar and line charts and icon array). Along with measuring baseline graph literacy, a video tutorial reviewing the four graphs and a re-designed graph used to test usability and utility were implemented to better understand and enhance graph comprehension in recently onboarded, entry-level, hospital nurses. The self-selecting, small sample size garnered enough data to run non-parametric tests, and although there were no statistically significant findings in tests for differences or correlations, measuring baseline graph literacy and identifying ways to enhance graph comprehension remain clinically significant. The qualitative and quantitative analysis challenged assumptions and will inform future graph literacy studies in hospital nurses.