Animation helps patients prepare for medical procedures

An animated video, which shows patients how to prepare for a colonoscopy, could reduce failed procedures and improve efficiency, says a leading expert.

Bobby creating his animation on a computer
Bobby Heaney

Doctor Thomas Archer, a gastroenterology registrar at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, approached Nottingham Trent University for a video to explain what a colonoscopy is and the steps patients should take beforehand in order for the procedure to be successful.

A colonoscopy examines the large bowel using a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera and light on the end, called a colonoscope.

It is also a common procedure performed as a surveillance test for serious conditions such as cancer.

Complications are rare but the bowel must be clear on the day to allow the endoscopist to examine it thoroughly and avoid missing any abnormalities.

Bobby Heaney, 21, studies Animation at Nottingham Trent University and worked with Dr Archer to create the three minute video which uses animated sequences.

It includes details of foods patients can eat or should avoid and timings of when to take a laxative to clear the bowel to improve its effectiveness.

The endoscopy department at the hospital plans to show the video to patients with an information booklet they receive.

Bobby, from Nazeing in Essex, said: “The aim of the video is to relay key information to patients to help them prepare.

“The booklet has a lot of written information to take in so the video provides another dimension for patients.

“In addition to being informative I think the video is also reassuring for patients who might be feeling worried or nervous ahead of the procedure.”

Andy Love, course leader of BA (Hons) Animation, in the School of Art & Design, said: “This is a brilliant example of how animation can be used to present important information in a way that is engaging and easy to understand.

“The value of this video is clear to see if it can help patients get ready by making them feel comfortable and confident.”

Dr Archer said: “Patients often comment on how the prep is worse than the procedure so improving preparation would lead to a more efficient system of investigation and reduce the discomfort of having to endure repeated tests.

“We are currently designing a study to demonstrate whether using this video would improve the effectiveness of bowel preparation compared to the regular information supplied in the booklet, once completed we plan to introduce the video into standard practice across the East Midlands.”

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Animation helps patients prepare for medical procedures

Published on 24 January 2018
  • Subject area(s): Art and design
  • Category(s): Press office ; School of Art & Design

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