Mapping contexts of care

A cognitive approach to creating communication materials for healthcare settings


  • Kirk St.Amant Louisiana Tech University



cognition, cognitive scripts, context, designn, expectations, usability


Healthcare today increasingly involves patients using various devices to engage in different care activities and often doing so without the aid of trained healthcare professionals. This situation means patients must often use health and medical information (i.e., content) in various contexts with different dynamics. As a result, usability – or how effectively individuals can use items – becomes central to effective medical communication. Usability expectations affecting such communication dynamics are often guided by psychological processes reflecting prior healthcare experiences. Meeting these expectations involves identifying the cognitive factors influencing how individuals use materials. This conceptual paper examines how the psychological concept of ‘cognitive scripts’ can help address such situations. The paper also presents an approach for identifying the cognitive scripts affecting usability expectations and applying this information to create usable communication materials for healthcare contexts.

Author Biography

Kirk St.Amant, Louisiana Tech University

Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and the Eunice C. Williamson Chair in Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University. Kirk is a member of the University’s Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Science (CBERS), and he also serves as the Director of Louisiana Tech’s Center for Health and Medical Communication (CHMC).


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How to Cite

St.Amant, K. . (2022). Mapping contexts of care: A cognitive approach to creating communication materials for healthcare settings. Communication and Medicine, 17(3), 283–294.