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KCUR: Children's Mercy Taps Kansas City Art Institute to Explain Science to Kids & Parents

Senior Nichelle Lankes' illustration of an endoscopy procedure.
By Anne Kniggendorf

Tell any child that you need her consent to perform an endoscopic biopsy and want her on board with a “future use provision” and see what sort of look you get. Try to convey the same idea to a child and her parents in a West African nation with no written language and you’re out of luck.

Dr. Susan Abdel-Rahman has played out this scenario many times in her role as a doctor and researcher for Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Regardless of where she is in the world, the government requires parental consent for pediatric research. She’s also required to distribute paperwork to parents about every procedure.

Rory Frazier's graphic explanation of an endoscopic biopsy.

But consent and paperwork are meaningless if no one understands the concepts she’s trying to impart. So, Abdel-Rahman, who is also a professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, decided to try something unconventional in her world of 20-page, text-heavy parental consent and child assent forms: pictures.

Her initial idea, in 2014, was simple: work with the Kansas City Art Institute to create graphics that explain medical procedures; no language needed.


Read the full article via KCUR.

Learn more about Children's Research Institute.