Journal of medical Internet research 2017 12 1419(12) e412 doi 10.2196/jmir.8877
Chronic pain in childhood is increasingly being recognized as a significant clinical problem for children and their families. Previous research has identified that families want information about the causes of their child’s chronic pain, treatment options, and effective strategies to help their child cope with the pain. Unfortunately, parents have reported that finding this information can be challenging.
The aim of this study was to actively work together with children attending a pediatric chronic pain clinic and their parents to develop, refine, and evaluate the usability of an art and narrative-based electronic book (e-book) for pediatric chronic pain.
A multiphase, multi-method research design employing patient engagement techniques was used to develop, refine, and evaluate the usability of an art and narrative based e-book for pediatric chronic pain management to facilitate knowledge translation for parents with a child with chronic pain. The multiple phases included the following: (1) qualitative interviews to compile parents’ narratives using qualitative interviews; (2) qualitative data analysis; (3) development of an e-book prototype; (4) expert clinician feedback; (5) parent usability evaluation, knowledge change, and confidence in knowledge responses using an electronic survey; (6) e-book refinement; and (7) dissemination of the e-book.
A 48-page e-book was developed to characterize the experiences of a family living with a child with chronic pain. The e-book was a composite narrative of the parent interviews and encompassed descriptions of the effects the condition has on each member of the family. This was merged with the best available research evidence on the day-to-day management of pediatric chronic pain. The e-book was vetted for clinical accuracy by expert pediatric pain clinicians. All parents that participated in the usability evaluation (N=14) agreed or strongly agreed the content of the e-book was easy to understand and stated that they would recommend the e-book to other families who have children with chronic pain. Our research identified up to a 21.4% increase in knowledge after using the e-book, and paired t tests demonstrated a statistically significant difference in confidence in answering two of the five knowledge questions (chronic pain is a disease involving changes in the nervous system; the use of ibuprofen is usually effective at controlling chronic pain); t13=0.165, P=.001 and t13=0.336, P=.002, respectively, after being exposed to the e-book.
Our results demonstrate that parents positively rated an e-book developed for parents with a child with chronic pain. Our results also identify that overall, parents’ knowledge increased after using the e-book, and confidence in their knowledge about chronic pain and its management increased in two aspects after e-book exposure. These results suggest that art and narrative-based knowledge translation interventions may be useful in transferring complex health information to parents.