Drugs in Lactation Analysis Consortium at SickKids Hospital
Project Committee Members:
Dr. Shelley Wall, AOCAD, MScBMC, PhD
Dr. David Colantonio, PhD, DABCC, FCACB
Sholeh Ghayoori, CCRP
Sarah Delaney, M.Sc.
Award of Merit
Breastfeeding mothers taking a medication for their chronic health conditions
A single-page website | 2D animation
Many breastfeeding mothers use over-the-counter and prescribed medications, but drug safety is still a major concern for nursing mothers. Unfortunately, there is a lack of evidence on safe drug use during lactation because pregnant and breastfeeding women are commonly excluded from clinical trials during drug development. The current drug safety information for breastfeeding mothers is based on single-case reports or studies with a limited number of participants. Thus, a team of researchers in the Drugs in Lactation Analysis Consortium (DLAC) at SickKids Hospital have set up a “drug-in-milk” monitoring system: by analyzing milk samples collected from participating mothers, DLAC generates pharmacokinetic information (e.g. drug absorption and metabolism), and will use this information to develop drug safety guidelines so that mothers can use medications safely while breastfeeding.
Challenge & solution:
The DLAC observational study's participation procedures were participant-focused and designed to place minimal demands on participants. Nevertheless, patient recruitment was still challenging due to limitations in reaching potential participants and communicating information to them. DLAC was seeking digital recruitment tools that can be presented on social networking sites. According to research, better-informed participants were more likely to be involved and remained in the study. Thus, eligible participants needed to receive the necessary information (i.e., significance, relevance, participation procedures, and benefits) and thoroughly understand the study before making their decision. Thus, my Master’s research project focused on harnessing the promotional and communicative power of visual tools to improve DLAC’s recruitment system. The project involved designing and developing
an informative, compelling motion graphic embedded in a single-page website.
Click here to view the website & animation!
Jan - April 2016
Searching for an MRP topic
"What am I interested in and what do I want to learn through this long-term project?" I asked these two questions again and again. To answer those questions, I approached many researchers and organizations to find out where my skills could be used. In March, I found out about Drugs in Lactation Analysis research team at SickKids hospital and met my content advisor, Dr. Colantonio, a DLAC co-investigator.
May - July 2016
As a starting point, I wrote an in-depth research proposal as part of the Research Methods course in the Biomedical Communications program.
July 2016 - Present
Prior to developing my project, I have been learning required skills by taking related BMC courses and watching video tutorials:
Sept - Dec 2016
Different versions of visual treatments, narrative scripts, storyboards and 2D animatics were created.
Jan - Jul 2017
A friendly and informative 2D animation embedded in a one-page website was produced as a participant recruitment package.
Aug 2017 - PRESENT
The final product is currently being used by the DLAC research team to recruit eligible participants.
Click here to view the full website & animation!