#conversation: how picture-based learning through storytelling can enhance conversations surrounding organ donation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


#conversation is a collaborative study between healthcare professionals and visual communication professionals, designed to raise awareness and to encourage conversations around organ donation. On average, three people in the UK die each day in need of an organ, and 1% of people die in circumstances where organ donation can be considered. As of March 2019, 38% of the population had signed up to the organ donation register. #conversation; is an audio/visual educational tool, designed to be used amongst NHS staff from all areas to encourage dialogue on the subject of organ donation. With an emphasis on storytelling; #conversation uses a picture-based delivery. This short film made a powerful impact; demonstrating high levels of staff engagement; and was seen to positively influence views and promote conversations between participants, their friends, families, and colleagues. Illustrating organ donation recipients and donor’s stories voices, the film was shown during NHS staff Basic Life Support (BLS) training, which is compulsory for all patient-facing staff. #conversation utilised illustration techniques, referencing deconstruction to enable the contextualisation of a difficult subject matter. This collage-led, cut and paste approach enabled emphasis and contrast, with juxtaposed imagery of the value of everyday things versus extraordinary events. #conversation has effectively developed a research model for delivering and evaluating short educational interventions within a healthcare setting. As such, this model could be used in similar ways as a vehicle to promote discussion around issues pertinent to life support. Exploring the use of storytelling and communication hybridity this can empower the illustrator; as a co-researcher/producer, working with a number of teams at different stages within a healthcare setting. Furthermore, #conversations encouraged further dialogue regarding roles of the message, messenger, impact of image, the process of user testing/iteration and on-site research: all to enable a valuable narrative-led solution.


ConferenceEducation and Illustration: Models Methods Paradigms, 11th Illustration Research Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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