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Drawing the MRI: Qualitatively evaluating a comic form information guide to having an MRI and reflecting on the collaborative process

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Janice McLaughlinORCiD, Lydia Wysocki



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a conference proceedings (inc. abstract) published in its final definitive form in 2019. For re-use rights please refer to the publishers terms and conditions.


Background: Radiography staff at the Great North Children’s Hospital were concerned that the information materials they had available to share with children undergoing MRI scans were too focused on the technology and not engaging enough. A group of researchers were brought together to explore the possibility of designing creative materials that could help explain what happened during a Scan and what the process fully entails. Over time a collaboration between radiographers, social scientists and comic developers led to the production of a MRI comic (My MRI) which is now being used at the GNCH. As part of that use and thanks to funding from the GNCH Foundation, we are now undertaking a qualitative evaluation of the comic with children and their carers and healthcare professionals. Study aims: The aim was to produce material more engaging for young people and which gave them more insight into the whole process and experience of having an MRI, rather than just what the technology did. In doing so the broader aim was to help children understand the process better, be less worried, and be able to comply with the requirements of the scan. A final aim is to explore the possibilities for collaboration across the areas of expertise involved, for producing this kind of material for use in different areas of healthcare treatment and intervention for children and others. Methods: The poster will detail the collaborative process that lay behind creating the comic, including work with young people via the YPAG at GNCH. It will consider what are the practical and interdisciplinary dynamics involved in bringing different expertise together to produce an applied outcome of a comic for use in a clinical context. The evaluation now being carried out involves telephone interviews with children and their carers to reflect on their views of what they thought of the comic and whether they think it helped them, alongside feedback from healthcare professionals using the comic. Key findings: Building a relationship between people who have different skills, expertise and knowledge is important to enable collaborations like this to work. It is also involves resources that can be difficult to pull together from different sources, and various organisational hurdles to resolve. It is therefore important not to underestimate the complexities involved in creating these kinds of creative materials. However, the benefit is material that can capture important information in ways that are lively and engaging and can have use beyond the original group intended to be the key users. Further findings from the research with children and healthcare professionals will also be shared. Conclusions and impact: Drawing from creative practice and social science knowledge can be useful in the design of materials that seek to engage children and young people and to capture treatment and interventions in a broader way. Existing funding and approval routes for research activities don’t always fit easily with this kind of activity; particularly if you plan to do evaluations that can be written up for broader dissemination and impact.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McLaughlin J, Wysocki L

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Great North Children's Research Community Conference: Child Health Research Across Organisational Boundaries

Year of Conference: 2019

Online publication date: 08/03/2019

Acceptance date: 05/02/2019

Date deposited: 21/03/2019