Going Digital explored the potential for young people withlong-term health conditions to use digital communication toolsto access support from their clinical team, and highlighted the untapped opportunity for clinicians to engage with youngpeople using digital channels.
Going Digital was an online forum theatre event that invited an audience to explore the benefits of digital communication between clinicians and young people living with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. In a collaboration between Nursing at King’s, Warwick Medical School and Face Front Inclusive Theatre, the production, which was filmed and live-streamed, highlighted the complexities of healthcare management for these young people. It also experimented with clinician-patient communication about issues such as drug regimes, symptoms and emotional distress, using social media, text, mobile phone calls and emails. A film made from the event was later used in interactive sessions with clinicians and young people, involving online discussion using instant messaging, microphones and webcams to develop digital communication solutions.
Over time, young people living with long-term health conditions may disengage from health services, which negatively affects their health and places a greater burden on the healthcare system. Research has found that young people’s engagement increases through the use of digital clinical communications, improving the health outcomes of this new generation of digitally connected patients. Going Digital built upon this research to explore innovative digital communication solutions and raise awareness of their potential in healthcare.
Since completion of the project, the series of short films adapted from the online forum theatre event has been made available online. This resource, for professionals and young people, considers the opportunities and safeguards required when planning for clinical-patient digital communication and is being used at King’s.
King’s academic lead Professor Jackie Sturt continues to work with Face Front Inclusive Theatre to explore the access, use and impact of digital technology in adult patient-clinician communication. Face Front has used the techniques of online forum theatre developed through the project as a training tool for voluntary and community leaders considering the rights and emotional journeys of young learning-disabled people going from school to adult life.
Going digital: exploring electronic communication between clinicians and young people through Interactive Forum Theatre is a collaboration between King's College London’s Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery, Warwick Medical School and Face Front Inclusive Theatre. It was supported by the university's Culture team.
The LYNC Study project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme (Project Number 12/209/51).
The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HS&DR Programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.