How researchers can translate health evidence into books for children

Erin I Walsh, Ginny M Sargent, Laura Gooyers, Jessica Masters, Karima Laachir, Sotiris Vardoulakis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The health promotion literature that considers how scientific evidence can be effectively communicated tends to focus on evaluating the effectiveness of communication materials. This has resulted in a knowledge gap regarding effective knowledge translation processes. This study explores the process, reasoning and practices for developing books for children that incorporate evidence-based information to aid understanding of scientific evidence about health and environmental or natural disasters. This study is informed by a systematic review of the literature combined with responses to an email interview with authors of books for children. Nine published studies were included in the systematic review. Twenty-two authors responded to the email survey (25% response rate, following 86 invitations). We report seven key findings to guide the development of health-promoting books for children: (i) understand the needs and expectations of the audience, (ii) articulate the topic and research evidence, (iii) assemble a team with a mix of content knowledge and creative expertise, (iv) format should be chosen to suit the user group and guided by the creative team, (v) early testing with children and their support system is crucial, (vi) develop a dissemination strategy to reach the user group and (vii) engage in reflexivity through evaluation of effectiveness of messaging. The current investigation can guide the process, reasoning and practice of developing books for children that incorporate evidence about health and environmental disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2024
Externally publishedYes


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