Children Learn While They Play With Clinical-Trials Focused Coloring Book
June 30, 2020
With families spending more time at home, parents are looking for ways to entertain and educate their children. And, with the recent public focus on science and clinical research, educational materials covering those topics are more valuable than ever. Teaching children about the importance of something as complex as science is not easy. Thankfully, Teresa Quattrin, M.D., from the University of Buffalo — one of NCATS’ Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program hubs — decided to help.
To address the low understanding of and participation in clinical trials by children, Quattrin teamed up with Renee Cadzow, Ph.D., and Alexandra Marrone, to produce a coloring and activity book that teaches children and their parents about the process and value of clinical research. The story follows a young girl, Sofia, who has asthma. Sofia, her father and her younger brother discuss this condition with her doctor and a clinical trial researcher who tell Sofia about a new clinical trial studying asthma.
Common questions and concerns about participation in clinical trials are addressed as Sofia decides whether to enroll in the trial. As readers play through the book’s activities, they learn about the process and importance of clinical research and the value of clinical trial participants, or as the book calls them, “Research Rangers.”
To reach the widest population possible, the book has been released in multiple formats. “Sofia Learns About Research” is available in three different languages: English, Spanish and Arabic, and the book is available as both a printable PDF and an interactive electronic format. The resulting accessibility of this coloring and activity book means that more people can learn about clinical research with Sofia.
“Sofia Learns About Research” introduces children to clinical research and helps them understand that it is a key part of the translational science process that leads to the development of new medical treatments. This book assures them that this type of research can be safe, flexible and comfortable. In a fun and friendly way, “Sofia Learns About Research” teaches children that they can help themselves, other people and the world by becoming Research Rangers.
The “Sofia Learns About Research” activity book presents research in a family-friendly way by describing the journey of Sofia, a child with asthma. (University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute)