Cool Runnings: a National Smartphone-Delivered Burn Prevention and First Aid Treatment Education Campaign

Belinda Wallis1, 2, Jacquii Burgess2, Cate Cameron3, Steve Huff4, Roy Kimble5, Leila Cuttle6

1 Larchill Consulting, Hawthorne, QLD, 4171  

2 Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, University of Queensland, Centre for Children’s Health Research, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101

3 The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Logan, QLD 4131

4 iPug (Injury Prevention Using Gamification), Maroochydore, QLD, 4558

5 Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology and Children’s Health Queensland, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101

6 Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Queensland University of Technology, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at Centre for Children’s Health Research, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101

Background: Delivery of burn prevention messages and resources by a smartphone application (app) allows for low-cost, customisable, wide-reaching education. Researchers at the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research have previously conducted a smartphone app-based education campaign to educate Queensland mothers on hot beverage scalds. This technology is now being utilised in a national burn prevention and first aid treatment campaign to educate Australians on all common mechanisms of burn injury and best-practice treatment.

Method: Animations, infographics and memes have been developed to provide information on the common ways that burn injuries occur, how to prevent them and what treatment is required if a burn injury has occurred. These resources will be delivered on a weekly basis to participants who download the free Cool Runnings app. Follow-up quizzes and activities will help to re-inforce their learning and points and prizes will be offered to maintain participant engagement with the app. Pre- and post-campaign surveys will be given to participants to assess their change in knowledge and behaviour after the resources are received.

Results: The resources that have been developed and the data from the surveys will be presented along with data for the number of app downloads and viewing statistics. The developed resources will be made freely available to all burn prevention partners for circulation in their own areas.

Conclusions: Delivering public health messages via smartphone app is being more frequently used as it is lower-cost and further-reaching than traditional broadcast media.

Key Words
Prevention; education; smartphone; app

Dr Leila Cuttle is a research scientist who has been conducting burn research at the Brisbane Children’s Hospital for the past 15 years. She is an expert in burn first aid treatment and developing and testing novel treatments for burn injuries.


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