Feedback-guided Development for Patient Education Animation: HIV Transmission via Breastfeeding

  • Sarah Crawley
  • Shelley Wall
  • Lena Serghides
  • Marc Dryer


This thesis project uses animation to communicate the risk of HIV transmission via breastfeeding to mothers living with HIV in Canada. Current guidelines do not recommend breastfeeding for HIV+ mothers because there is always some level of risk. Knowledge of mother-to-child transmission is poor, and the cultural pressure to breastfeed has complex implications. It was essential that the science of transmission risk be conveyed in a clear and culturally sensitive manner, to allow women to make appropriate, informed decisions about whether or not to breastfeed. To accomplish this, we adopted a user-testing approach. Throughout development, the script, animatic, and character designs were presented for feedback to members of the target audience, healthcare providers, and representatives from Canadian HIV organizations in an iterative design process. At each round of feedback, the script, animatic, and visual assets were revised, and sent for further comment. Ongoing collaboration with the target audience helped us develop an animation with a wide diversity of characters, culturally sensitive metaphors, and nuanced descriptions of risk, in response to feedback that detailed desires about representation and identified how concepts were being misunderstood. User-testing approaches are necessary when creating patient education animations. Population needs, background, and context have a dramatic impact on patient understanding, and cannot be understood properly without user testing and direct feedback. Doing so helps prevent insensitive concepts and easily misinterpreted information, and thus is key to effective patient education animation.

How to Cite
Crawley, S., Wall, S., Serghides, L., & Dryer, M. (2018). Feedback-guided Development for Patient Education Animation: HIV Transmission via Breastfeeding. Journal of Biocommunication, 42(2).
Published Abstracts - Poster Presentations