Geena was tasked with realising possible resources that could be created to help both clinicians and families understand a child's cerebral palsy diagnosis in a sensitive, reassuring and engaging manner that encourages dialogue between the two.
One of the key themes that came up in discussions for a potential resource was the need to show that there is a cerebral palsy spectrum, and how this can be translated into a resource to aid clinicians in communication about it. Working alongside a University of Auckland Researcher, we simplified the functional classification systems that apply to children diagnosed with cerebral palsy to only the essential information to support families understanding of their child’s condition, and the spectrum they sit on.
After completing this resource, it became clear that even though the functional classification systems provided a foundation of understanding for families, there may be more questions than answers. In response to this, Geena created a supplementary resource that answers families most common questions about function classification systems, and digs a bit deeper into what each system means for both themselves and their child.
The second key area to explore was creating data visualisations from a recent New Zealand study on cerebral palsy. These visualisations needed to quickly and effectively communicate the key data from this study: highlighting the need for more clinician training in cerebral palsy diagnosis, and feature the family experience in the diagnosis process. It was important to emphasise the need for change in how cerebral palsy diagnoses are undertaken by clinicians to help improve the family experience after a life-changing diagnosis.
Geena approached these visualisations using a simple, non-clinical colour colour palette that stayed away from using colours as severity indicators for cerebral palsy — it can come across as alarming if families situate their child those brackets. As a solution, she used shades & tints to signify the functional classification system levels to soften this and reduce the potential for anxiety specific colour associations might have had.
Here's what Geena had to say of her summer studentship experience — "Interning again with Good Health Design has been yet again another enjoyable learning experience. This time around, I had more control and responsibilities on the direction of this project and I felt both the Good Health Design team, our collaborators at Starship Children's Hospital and the University of Auckland valued my input and direction of where this project was heading. I got a more in-depth perspective of real-world design projects and the ups and downs that go with it, something undergrad cannot teach you. I cannot thank the team enough for taking me on again and providing me with a welcoming workplace and valuable design experience!"