Project Background

Emergency physician Amy Drendel, studies pain management and pain assessment in pediatric patients. Booster Shot collaborated with Dr. Drendel in projects that addressed two needs identified by her work. First, interviews with children who had been seen for fractures or sprains suggested kids underreport pain to their parents. Second, other research highlights the challenges of pain assessment with the currently available tools. Both of these challenges result in poor pain management.

Project Summary

With Dr. Drendel, Booster Shot created a two-page comic that encourages better pain management after discharge for kids with with fractures and sprains. Booster Shot has also developed a new pain scale that may be easier for kids to use to communicate with adults. The simplified three-point scale combines colors, facial expression, and text. Dr. Drendel will be testing this new pain scale along with the discharge comic among pediatric patients seen in the Emergency Department.

Comic book explaining the stoplight pain scale

Comic book explaining the stoplight pain scale

Are patients learning?

The pain scale and the pain comic were both reviewed by patients, physicians, nurses, and other individuals with expertise related to patient education. Dr. Drendel will be conducting clinic-based research on both the pain scale and the pain comic to evaluate how these new tools impact patient care in the emergency room and during follow up. The comic itself has two mechanisms for evaluating patient use and comprehension. First, the dinosaur character Rex prompts the reader to circle all the times Rex is hidden throughout the comic. Second, the reader is asked to complete the speech balloons in a three-panel comic featuring Sue. The goal is that each panel should include one of the three pieces of information explained in the comic.