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Student Reps Weekend: ‘Super hero’ wins the Big Idea in CSP student competition

13 February 2014 - 10:19am

Making a positive impact was a key theme at the student representatives development weekend, held in Leeds on 8-9 February.


Students from the South West and Wales got their big idea from a placement at a paediatric physio unit. Photo: Gabriel Szabo/Guzelian

A scheme which uses teddy bears and a comic book ‘super hero’ to involve child cystic fibrosis patients in their care won the Dragon’s Den-style Big Idea competition. 

Students from the South West and Wales region got their Big Idea from a placement at a paediatric physio unit where they found that children and their parents needed a better understanding of treatment.

Dave Progl, a student at the University of Southampton and Gary Whiting, who is studying at Bournemouth University, came up with Teddies for Toddlers, where a small child has a teddy and a comic which gives them options about how they can care for their bear.

Promoting self-managment

The students said that through learning to care for the bear the children can learn about their own care. Parents would be provided with corresponding literature.

‘Research shows that it’s important for a child to have some say and choose what they would like to do in their care,’ they told delegates. ‘So we would give the initial comic to the child and they would choose their treatment plan from that.’

The theme was developed for children aged 6-10 through a ‘super hero’ comic book character and games consoles to enable children to feed back information.

Dr Helena Johnson, honorary student president, told the winning team: ‘We liked the concept of needing to incorporate fun into physiotherapy to promote self-management. It was thoroughly investigated and you then went on to fully develop the product with your comic book and characters.’

She said that the entries for the Big Idea have ‘just got better and better’. Other concepts included extending the scope of physiotherapy in mental health; falls prevention for people with dementia; Botox for stroke rehabilitation; and student-led exercise for older people.

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