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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

The first dirty little secret of mind mapping is that consultants on mind mapping who know little (or in most cases nothing) about neuroscience and cognitive psychology and dementia will make mind maps with dementia content that is “questionable” or just completely wrong and do not hesitate to share it on the Internet or through other forms of marketing. Many commercial claims such as “discovery” or “research” will be made. But it is very likely that the maps being sold are not valid or relevant and could “hurt” persons with dementia.

The second dirty little secret is that many of the content dementia mind maps are made by computer program developers who just want some colorful maps to sell their programs. These companies do not use current evidence-based research or expert consultants or persons with dementia as a source of information.

The third dirty little secret of mind mapping is it takes years to learn dementia care and a 1-3 days o learn mind mapping to an acceptable level to develop nicely-formated mind maps.

Who do you think is more likely to produce mind maps relevant to the health care system that will not hurt patients by providing poor information? Category 1 or Category 2?

  1. Someone who studied healthcare, medicine, nursing, social work, psychology or a related field for 4-8 years and learned mind mapping in a few days and then spent significant time thinking about how to correctly integrate mind mapping tools into healthcare or a person with dementia who has learned to use mind mapping to express themselves and is a good observer of their own feelings and behaviors or a caregiver who has significant experience with dementia by caring for a family member or other persons with dementia AS COMPARED TO …
  2. Someone who developed training methods, a lucrative business consulting practice, or a computer program for mind mapping but knows little about healthcare and psychological content?

The answer is a no-brainer. If you cannot see the difference between valid information from Category 1 mind mappers and that from Category 2 mind mappers you should not be producing dementia or other health-medical mind maps.

A mind map with the issues follows. Click to expand it.

Anyone Can Show You Some Mind Maps and Say They Will Help Your Dementia

The following automatic presentation shows the major issues in assessing the value of mind maps offered for sale (or free). It contains identical information to the mind map above but is formatted so as to show one part of the map at a time. If you would like to run the presentation manually, hit the pause button within the presentation and use the arrow keys on your keyboard to work through the presentation at your own pace.

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Mind maps are powerful thinking and communication tools. But, especially in the fields of healthcare, social care, medicine, and mental health, mind maps need to reflect established evidence-based research OR clinical observations OR careful observations of persons with a condition and their caregivers. For the professionals, individuals should be licensed by their local jurisdiction as required by law. Patients and caregivers should be receiving treatment and information from physicians or other licensed professionals as part of the person with treatment.

Medical and health mind maps must developed to a much higher standard than business mind maps. In the business arena, the content in mind maps typically is developed from personal theories of individuals and is rarely substantiated by peer-reviewed research, careful observation, and is typically motivated by obtaining and retain consulting clients.

While I personally believe business mind maps should also be developed to a higher standard for their content and theoretical as well as business motives, I KNOW that medical and healthcare mind maps for people with dementia must carefully reflect the experience of the person with dementia, family members, caregivers, clinical observations, and peer-reviewed research.

lab mouse

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  1. Ken Hill #
    March 19, 2016

    I have learned a lot from your blog. But I’m a bit confused now. Many of your mindmaps such as daily scheduling, recording your life and preferences, etc. seem like prime targets for non-scientist creation and use. I assume this post refers to maps meant to teach health care pros about dementia, thus needing higher standards of medical professionalism. I see a great difference and hope you can verify or correct my understanding. Thanks.

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