i-CONSENT team organised last week a workshop with children to assess their knowledge on clinical studies and develop strategies to better communicate with them

Participation of children in clinical studies is essential but still minoritary. How to communicate with them is still a challenge for researchers and investigators. How can we explain the procedures in way they can understand so they can participate autonomously? With this idea in mind the past June 27th, 2019, the i-CONSENT team organised in Valencia a workshop. Design Thinking Methodology was used to engage with them.

A group of 6 children between 11-13 years old where invited to Fisabio‘s offices so they could be asked these questions directly:

  • How would they like to receive the information on clinical trials,
  • In what ways would they better understand informed consent and
  • Which formats would they prefer to receive the information

After a brief introduction on the workshop dynamics, participants presented themselves through a «pass the ball» game that served as an ice breaking. Then, an animated video explaning clinical trials was played and specific questions where answered. Next step was a role play: children where asigned a «character» (patient, doctor, clinical investigator, etc.) and played their roles while learning the informed consent process procedures. Right after an empathy exercise with balloons was conducted to asses their feelings on clinical studies and the informed consent (see picture above).

Once all the information was on the table it was time to decide the format. What formats did they prefer, how did they felt about the different possibilities or how did the currently consume the information where some of the issues addressed. These where some of the ones discussed:

  • Comics
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Webpage
  • Apps

Finally, both children and their parents prepared their own «prototype», a final material with the information they found more useful and important through the best format to display this information. The conclusions are now being extracted and observed and will be incorporated on the guidelines elaborated within this project’s framework. Results soon!