Symptom patterns and life with longer-term COVID-19 in children and young people: coproduction of long-Covid resources for children and young people.
SPLaTTooN is a PPIE project within SPLaT-19 which was developed to share information about how Long Covid affects children and young people with younger audiences. The project has included children and young people throughout, with over 70 children and young people involved in the project, and has incorporate their designs, thoughts and opinions into the final health information materials. Media producers, recruited from Keele Media students, worked with children and young people on the project, to coproduce a social media campaign
What was SPLaTToon about?
Researchers from Keele University have been working with children and young people on the SPLaTToon project to share research findings with the public.
The SPLaT-19 research project has been investigating how children and young people are affected by Long Covid. While carrying out the project, the research team found that lots of people don't know about Long Covid or how it affects children and young people. They also found that there wasn’t a lot of information available to help people who want to find out more.
The SPLaT-19 team set up SPLaTToon to work with children and young people of all ages to design and make information materials for young people to share information about Long Covid.
In total, over 70 children and young people with and without Long Covid, aged between 10 and 17, worked on the project.
What did you do?
SPLaTToon worked with children and young people and media producers to make health information materials to share information about Long Covid.
To do this, we ran design sessions in schools and with online groups of children and young people. In these sessions, the research team brought the findings from their research project and talked to the young people about the project and what they were planning to do before asking the group what they could do to make health information materials for young people. In these sessions, children and young people decided on the information which needed to be included in the Long Covid materials (content), what the materials should be and where they should be released so that they would be seen by children and young people (presentation and format), and what the materials should look like (design).
Media producers on the project made the materials based on the ideas and comments from the design sessions and then brought back early drafts and plans to some of the groups to allow them to give feedback and suggest changes. After the feedback sessions, the media producers made the final changes and published the materials that they had produced with the children and young people.
These materials are now being shared with the public.
What did you hope to achieve with SPLaTToon?
SPLaTToon was set up to allow researchers at Keele University to work with children and young people to find out how to share health information in a way that young people may find interesting and accessible.
It is important that health research about young people is shared in a way that young people can understand. The SPLaT-19 project explored the experiences of children and young people with Long Covid. Long Covid can affect all ages, and it is important to make sure that children and young people are aware of what it is and what it means for those who have it.
Young people know best how information needs to be presented for them to look at it and find it interesting. So the research team wanted to work with children and young people to develop materials to be interesting and engaging and accessible for this age group. They also wanted to use SPLaTToon to learn more about working with children and young people and schools on research projects like this, so that they can do more projects like this in the future.
Who was involved and how they were involved across the project
Children and young people involved with this project were:
- 2 young people with Long Covid and their parents, participants in the SPLaT-19 project
- Teams ‘Mclilfecre’, ‘Monn Ldcj’, ‘Gamer Greg’, ‘Big banana’, ‘Smurfs’, and ‘Blood red’ (50-60 year 6 students from Ellison Primary Academy, aged 10-11)
- Students from St Joseph’s College (4 secondary school children aged 11-13)
- Work experience students at Keele University School of Medicine (4 secondary school children aged 15-18)
- Members of the NIHR CRN WM Young Research Champion's Group (7 young people aged 11-17)
- 1 young actor (aged 13) involved with the filming and production of the videos
- 1 young person lay co-applicant (aged 17) who was involved in developing the project and facilitating PPIE sessions.
These young people were involved with the design and production of the health information materials, giving advice about the content, presentation and design to make sure that the final materials were interesting and engaging for younger audiences.
The Keele research team was made up of GPs and qualitative researchers, who provided the information for the health information materials based on existing research and their findings from the SPLaT-19 project. Two media producers, media students at Keele University, were hired to work with the children and young people on the project to produce the health information materials.
The Keele and North Staffordshire Teacher Education, Shaw Education Trust supported the project by setting up the links between the research team and schools.
The SPLaTToon research team is really thankful for everyone who was involved with the SPLaTToon project, especially all of those who volunteered their time to contribute to the development of the project, session activities, and the health information materials.
What did the project achieve and what are you most proud of?
The SPLaTToon project made with several different versions of health information materials to share information about Long Covid with children and young people. The final materials were:
- a social media campaign aimed at young people, made up of six short information videos (shared on social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube), and some social media quizzes image posts;
- and an illustrated leaflet for young people and their parents which can be shared in schools and other public places.
We have shared these materials online, and in some schools and doctors’ surgeries. We hope that they will be useful for children, young people and their families who want to know more about Long Covid.
We asked children and young people who took part to complete a short evaluation form to describe how they felt about SPLaTToon. Responses overwhelmingly positive:
- 89% said that they liked or really enjoyed taking part in the sessions, with no-one responding negatively to the question.
- 87% of respondents wanted to see or really wanted to see the final materials for the project.
- 89% said that they would take part in research activities again.
We’re really pleased that the young people enjoyed taking part and we hope to do more projects like this in the future.
We are most proud of all the children and students who were involved with this project. Approximately 70 children and young people took part in this study, and worked with us and the media producers to produce some really great health information materials for younger audiences. All of the young people who were involved were really engaged with the project and all of them contributed some really good ideas about how we could make research meaningful and interesting to young people. The final materials look amazing and it was all down to their hard work!
The SPLaTToon research team at Keele would like to thank all of the people who have been involved in the project for their hard work!
This project is funded by the NIHR School of Primary Care Research (686). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.