BSPED2008 Poster Presentations (1) (56 abstracts)
Introduction: Education of young children with type 1 diabetes mellitus is challenging. We report a collaboration between a hospital diabetology team and a young, diabetic 3D animator.
Materials and methods: This resulted in a novel education tool a series of five 3D cartoons lasting 56 min linked by a diabetic diary. Part 1 describes normal glucose metabolism in a healthy body. Part 2 describes diabetes and DKA. Parts 35 deal with: initial intravenous therapy and paediatric intensive care unit procedures aimed at reassuring children; the switch to subcutaneous therapy; biochemical measurements and the daily diabetic plan.
We used easily comprehensible symbolism for young children with colour-coding used throughout: insulin is represented as spoons, which are needed for the cells to eat sugars, fat looks like spaghetti and cells spit out the ends ketone bodies. The colour coding reflects the colour coding used for medical products, for example ketone bodies are coloured pink in the films and a positive result on a urinalysis strip would also show pink with ketonuria. This emphasises the link between the films and the real world experience of the children. In their diaries children use the stickers with happy and sad cells from the cartoons to label glycaemic results and their bodys reaction. The animation includes voices and songs of cells to make learning from the films more memorable. The diary includes scenes from the films which can be coloured in to reinforce the messages of the film. The diary is designed to be adaptable for widespread use.
Conclusion: Our experience shows that these cartoon films are helpful for both young children and parents in understanding what is happening when a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes mellitus is made, why and how their routine lives will change and why they are asked to accept and perform apparently unpleasant procedures when treating and managing diabetes.
A performance of the cartoon should be a part of our BSPED presentation.