Creating compassionate communities within pediatrics

Dr. Beata Batorowicz & Dr. Lucie Pelland

Award: Phoenix Project Fellowship (2018)

Co-Sponsor: Queen’s University

  • Patient data
  • Patient/family/caregiver voices
  • Wearable technology

This project aimed to improve health outcomes for children who live with disabilities in Ontario’s rural regions. It was also designed to provide an innovative approach to teaching compassionate care to students in rehabilitation and engineering. Beata and Lucie wanted to teach compassion that is characterized by behaviour and action rather than only attitudes and feelings. 

Their project involved using wearable technology to capture children’s stories of the barriers they face in their daily lives. By capturing their stories in real-time and in their own words, the project provided useful data. That data was shared with rehabilitation and engineering students within virtual reality environments. Beata and Lucie believed that when students engaged with these stories they’d be inspired to improve compassionate care for children in rural and remote regions using their knowledge and creativity.  With a better understanding of how disabled children (and their families) interact with their unique environments, students would become better problem solvers. 

This work is helping to demonstrate that practitioners can involve children in contributing to their own care and helped build a stronger foundation for rural pediatric care.