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Developing an accessible audiovisual animation to provide information about postpartum contraception
  1. Michelle Cooper1,2,
  2. Hannah Robinson3,
  3. Leanne Hughes4,
  4. Karen McCabe2,
  5. Janine Simpson5,6,
  6. Sharon Cameron1,2
  1. 1Chalmers Sexual Health Centre, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Centre for Reproductive Health, Institute of Regeneration & Repair, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Palindromicals, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4NHS Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Glasgow, UK
  5. 5Sexual and Reproductive Health, Sandyford, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow, UK
  6. 6School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michelle Cooper, Chalmers Sexual Health Centre, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK; michelle.cooper{at}

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Why was this audiovisual animation needed?

The postpartum period is a high-risk time for unintended pregnancy and abortion.1 Short inter-pregnancy intervals are associated with an increased risk of most obstetric complications2 but accessing appointments to discuss and initiate contraception can be difficult for new parents after leaving the maternity unit.1 The antenatal period offers a unique opportunity to discuss and provide information about future fertility and contraceptive choices after childbirth, and to facilitate postpartum contraceptive provision.3 Antenatal contraceptive discussions are not routinely offered in the UK, and the quality and consistency of information can be highly variable.3 Those from diverse backgrounds may find it more difficult to access information that suits their needs.4

Audiovisual animation is a useful tool for providing health information. Low literacy levels can mean that written information is not always fully understood. The use of animation has been shown to increase engagement, recall and consistency of information compared with in-person consultation alone.5 6 Viewers can feel less like they are being ‘lectured’ to and may be more receptive to the information and more likely to pass it on. It also offers enhanced opportunities to increase accessibility through the visual domain and the ability to include multiple languages in voiceovers and subtitles.

We sought to develop a new audiovisual animation specifically for use during the antenatal period to inform about fertility and contraception after childbirth, and to help address misinformation.

How was this achieved?

We describe our approach which was centred around a strategic communications method (COM-B approach)7 to ensure that the final product would convey the right messages in the most appropriate way, by continually testing progressive stages and incorporating feedback contemporaneously.

Steering and feedback groups

A steering group (comprising the named authors) was established consisting of subject experts, public health, communications, design and animation production expertise to lead the overall project …

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  • Contributors All authors (MC, HR, LH, KM, JS, SC) were members of the steering group for the animation development. MC conceived the idea for the manuscript. All authors contributed to manuscript preparation and reviewed the final version.

  • Funding The animation was funded jointly by NHS Lothian Charity (1539) and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde endowment funds (N/A).

  • Competing interests HR owns the independent production company (Palindromicals) that was contracted to develop the animation.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.