Overcoming emerging COVID‑19 challenges with relatable science: Developing and evaluating knowledge tools for Canadians

Scott, Shannon D | $272,470

Alberta University of Alberta 2021 CIHR Operating Grant

We have an established program through which we co-create knowledge tools with parents. These tools cover a range of common conditions for which parents seek pediatric healthcare. Currently we have 24 tools ([www.echokt.ca](http://www.echokt.ca)) that merge the best available science about how to manage the conditions with the power of parent experiences. Over the past 16 years, we have learned that the strategic merger of the best available science couched within the persuasive power of experience makes science more relatable. We will re-focus our work to create knowledge tools about COVID19 to increase the public’s confidence in science and to encourage vaccine uptake and maintenance of ongoing public health measures (social distancing, mask use). Our proposal involves four parts. First, we will conduct interviews/focus groups with families (including diverse community groups, those with low health literacy, and those whose first language is not English) to understand their concerns about COVID19, particularly in response to vaccine hesitancy and other public health measures. It is anticipated that vaccine hesitancy will emerge as a challenge with children and young adults given the low incidence of significant morbidity experienced with COVID19. Second, we will develop infographics and videos that merge parent experience with the best available science to address the knowledge needs identified. Third, we will undertake usability testing to ensure that our tools meet the needs of Canada’s diverse population. Fourth, in collaboration with several established national networks, we will disseminate the knowledge tools through a structured social media campaign using platforms and methods (e.g., influencers) known to increase uptake of health messages. We have long-standing relationships with many provincial/national groups and we have an established parent advisory group and a virtual, national parent network that will provide critical input at all stages of development and evaluation.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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