Superheroes Help Kids Understand Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

medikidz comicsA great new resource is now available to help children understand chronic pain. OTs and PTs help people improve their lives in movement and skills needed. These therapists, especially PTs, also work with patients involving pain management. A good number of the people being helped are older and may have younger family members in need of understanding what is involved. Comic book superheroes come to the rescue!

Medikidz, an international company founded by Dr. Kim Hilmam-Blair and Dr. Kate Hersov, produces a series of award-winning comic books as a medical education initiative for young people. These Marvel-inspired comics feature the “Medikidz”—a group of five superheroes from outer space, putting medical information into children-friendly plain words. Each superhero specializes in different areas of the human body. The Medikidz publications are each written by professional medical writers and doctors and peer-reviewed by leading consultants in each respective field. Initially produced to provide children with resources to help educate about their own new diagnoses or medicines and pediatric conditions, they have now branched out into engaging comics relating to adult conditions including chronic pain.

United Kingdom Teesside University Professor Denis Martin has collaborated with Medikidz, the University of Dundee, University of Aberdeen, University of Greenwich and Northumbria University and EOPIC (Engaging with Older People and Their Carers to Develop Interventions for the Self-management of Chronic Pain Project) to create a new comic called What’s Up with Moira’s Grandad Medikidz Explains Chronic Pain.

Professor Martin said, “In the story the child is taken on a journey through the human body, with the Medikidz superheroes explaining about chronic pain and how it impacts on someone’s life.” It ends with showing “the child with a better understanding of their grandparent’s situation.”

Professor Martin presented the comic at a conference organized by the American Pain Society this past May in New Orleans. He said, “We’re aiming to distribute the comics initially to clinics across the region and ultimately across the country, and further afield.”

So far, Medikidz has distributed more than two million copies worldwide, into 50 countries and in 28 different languages.


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