Improving the MRI experience for childern
Creating a concept for hospitals that want to reduce the number of children that require anesthesia when undergoing a MRI scan.
Image from Ken Treloar via Unsplash
Undergoing a MRI scan brings feelings of anxeaty for patients; for children and their families this is a particular stressful situation, as anaesthesia may be required to make sure the child lays still during the procedure.
In order to reduce the need for anaesthesia, I designed a preparation booklet for children undergoing a MRI; the goal is to provide them with enough information and encourage them to take control over their scan experience.
Undergoing an MRI scan can be an anxious situation for both parents and children. By conducting interviews, hospital observations and journal studies with children, I was able to understand the different emotions that families go through when a child requires a scan.
With the input from research it was possible to map the step-by-step experience as perceived by children and their parents. A key finding was that despite the potential result of the exam, the perception of having an MRI often starts as an exciting journey for children; however, as the exam day comes closer, they turn into fear and frustration due to lack of knowledge and unfamiliarity with the procedure. On the other hand, when the scan is completed, children feel proud of themselves and share the event with others.
As a result, I designed a preparation booklet that children and parents can use to learn about the MRI and prepare for it step by step. Providing knowledge it reduces fear, giving them a sense of control and familiarity. It also promotes them to bring their own objects to make the experience more familiar, and gives them confidence to express their feelings to the medical staff who can then provide better care. The booklet would be given by the doctor when communicating that an MRI is needed or sent home by the hospital or institution that will conduct the procedure.
“Patients want the world at the hospital to be as simple as possible; they want to be heard about what they are afraid of and be taken care of”