Technical Reports


Croup is a common viral illness affecting 80,000 children annually in Canada. Between 7-31% of children seen in an ED for croup are admitted to hospital due to health care provider apprehension. However, over 60% of children with croup experience mild symptoms that can be safely managed at home. Emerging evidence suggests that initiatives targeting healthcare consumers (i.e., patients, parents, families) can inform decision making and shape treatment expectations. Previous research demonstrates that innovative media are superior to traditional standard health sheets for transferring information to consumers. The purpose of this project was to develop, refine, and test the usability of a whiteboard animation video for parents about childhood croup. Parents rated the tools highly across all usability items, suggesting that creative tools developed using multi-method development processes can help facilitate the uptake of health information in parents.

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Characterized by vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea, acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a common illness in pediatric populations. In Canada, pediatric AGE accounts for 200,000 emergency visits, 20,000 hospital admissions, and 30 deaths a year. Yet, there continues to be significant practice variations in the treatment of AGE. Knowledge translation (KT) can help close the research-practice gap. In particular, art and stories are powerful mediums that cut across age, culture, language, literacy, and gender barriers. The purpose of this study was to work with parents to develop an e-Book and whiteboard animation video for parents on pediatric AGE. Using a multi-method research process, we developed a 2 minute 57 second video and 39-page e-Book for pediatric AGE. Both tools underwent usability testing with parents in three Canadian emergency department waiting rooms in urban, rural, and remote regions. Focus groups were also conducted with parents in each of the three regions. Overall, parents felt that digital and paper-based KT tools would be beneficial knowledge dissemination mediums. Our study showed that parents positively rated an e-Book and whiteboard animation video for pediatric AGE. These findings demonstrate how working together with key stakeholders can facilitate the development of KT tools for parents that are usable, relevant, and increase parental confidence. Furthermore, the type of KT tool developed is an important decision that may depend on parental preferences as well as when and where parents access the tools.

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Fever is defined as an elevated body temperature greater or equal to 38 degrees celsius when measured via the ear canal. It is a common bodily response in children and is typically a benign process that is self-limiting. However, fever can be an anxiety provoking event for some parents because their child can look unwell and become irritable as a result. Past attempts at translating medical knowledge about fever and its management strategies into parent-friendly formats exist; however, parent misperceptions about definition and management persist despite these educational tools.

Our research team employs patient engagement techniques to develop resources for parents to enhance the uptake of complex medical knowledge. First, our research group conducts qualitative interviews and knowledge synthesis of the literature. Following analysis, salient themes are used to develop a script and skeleton for our videos and infographics, respectively. Employing this same process, this paper discusses the development and usability testing of two digital tools for fever. Prototypes for the video and infographic were tested by parents in urban and remote emergency department (ED) waiting rooms. A total of 58 surveys were completed by parents. Overall, parents rated both the fever video and infographic favourably, suggesting that patient engaged research methods and digital formats are mediums that can facilitate knowledge transfer.

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