Stories - a novel approach to transfer complex health information to parents: A qualitative study

Shannon D. Scott, Lisa A. Hartling, Kathy A. O'Leary, Mandy M. Archibald, Terry Paul Klassen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify the beneficial attributes and mechanisms of storytelling through understanding the parental experiences of using a storybook knowledge translation intervention. Method: An exploratory descriptive design involving 23 parents of children presenting to two emergency departments for treatment of croup. Parents received a set of three storybooks, each representing a different severity level of croup (mild, moderate, and severe). Results: The storybooks were evaluated favorably. Parents were better able to understand the progression and treatment of croup by reading the stories, thus reducing uncertainty and alleviating anxiety about their child's condition. Parents consistently reported four positive outcomes associated with using the storybooks: (1) feeling reassured that they had done the right thing, (2) reduced uncertainty, (3) a normalization of the experience, and (4) feeling empowered. Conclusion: The "storybook" presentation of health information was regarded favorably by parents as a learning tool. Practice implications: The storybook format is a useful knowledge translation device.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
JournalArts and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • croup
  • knowledge translation
  • narrative
  • qualitative
  • storytelling


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