Knowledge mobilization of covid-19 evidence-based health recommendations for parents: a multi-methods randomised trial

Session Type
Communicating evidence including misinformation and research transparency
Elliott SA1, Scott SD2, Schunemann HJ3, Hartling L1
1Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence, Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Canada
2Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Canada
3Departments of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact and of Medicine, McMaster University, Canada

Background: Plain language versions of evidence-based health information are likely to be more accessible to end-users, particularly the general public, and may increase uptake of recommendations.
Objectives: To conduct a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with qualitative study to assess the effectiveness among parents of plain language versions of covid-19 recommendations on child health topics ( NCT05358990).
Methods: In this online, allocation-concealed, blinded, superiority RCT, we recruited parents from around the world. Our primary outcome was understanding. Secondary outcomes were: accessibility and usability, satisfaction, intended behaviour, and preference. Individual interviews were conducted with a subset of participants to provide deeper understanding of their preferences. Participants were randomised to receive one of two recommendations: Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5-11 years; Mothers with COVID-19 rooming with their newborn as part of usual hospital care. Participants were then randomised to receive a plain language (PLR) or standard language version (SLV) of the recommendation.
Results: 295 parents were randomised; 241 (81.7%) completed the trial. Mean understanding was significantly higher in the PLR group (3.96 [SD 2.02] vs. SLV 3.33 [SD 1.88], p=0.014). Mean accessibility and usability ratings were greater in the PLR group (PLR 4.98 [SD 1.32] vs. SLV 4.45 [SD 1.29], p=0.002) as was mean satisfaction (PLR 5.07 [SD 1.31] vs. SLV 4.38 [SD 1.37]). Overall participants preferred the PLR version with a mean rating significantly higher than neutral (p<0.001). There were no differences between groups in whether they would follow the recommendations or share them with others. Interviews (n=12) highlighted different aspects of the PLRs to enhance future knowledge mobilisation efforts.
Conclusions: Parents preferred the PLRs compared to SLVs, and those randomized to the PLRs showed better understanding of the recommendations’ content. Parents rated the PLR easier to access and use, and were more satisfied with the PLR. Interviews provided context for findings and insight for how to enhance knowledge mobilisation of health recommendations for parents. Further research among diverse groups and examining what other factors influence use of recommendations and decision making is important to increase uptake. Patient and/or public involvement: Parents contributed to methods, intervention design, pilot testing, and recruitment.