Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 46, Issue 12, pp 1744–1750 | Cite as

Animated educational video to prepare children for MRI without sedation: evaluation of the appeal and value

  • Szofia Szeszak
  • Rachel Man
  • Andrew Love
  • Gill Langmack
  • Heather Wharrad
  • Robert A. Dineen
Original Article



MRI scans can be distressing for children and often require sedation. Educating children about what to expect reduces anxiety and increases likelihood of successful non-sedated MRI scans. Multimedia tools are a popular means of education. Animated video could provide a free, accessible method of preparing children for MRI scans.


To evaluate a new animation video for preparing children for MRI, specifically for decreasing in-scanner motion and examination failure.

Materials and methods

We recruited 24 healthy children ages 5–11 years. Participants underwent pre- and post-viewing questionnaires and structured interviews. We then compared median Likert scale score changes between pre- and post-animation questions and analyzed the interview framework. Participants were filmed viewing the animation to calculate time spent looking at the screen to assess how well the video retained children’s attention.


There were significant improvements in median scores regarding what to expect, checking for metal and keeping still. There were no significant changes in other knowledge-based topics. There were significant improvements in median scores for anxiety-based topics. On average, children watched the screen for 98.9% of the 174-s animation.


The animation improved knowledge, reduced anxiety, retained attention and was enjoyed by participants. It can be accessed freely via the Internet to help prepare children ages 5–11 for having an MRI scan.


Child Education Magnetic resonance imaging Multi-media Preparation 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the children who took part in this study, their parents and other caregivers, and the staff of Fairway Primary School and the Long Eaton Sports Acrobatics Club.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Supplementary material

247_2016_3661_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (74 kb)
Supplementary material 2Questionnaire (PDF 73 kb)
247_2016_3661_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (44 kb)
Supplementary material 3Interview template (PDF 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiological Sciences, Division of Clinical Neuroscience, Queen’s Medical CentreUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.School of Art & DesignNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  3. 3.Health E-learning and Media group, School of Health Sciences, Queen’s Medical CentreUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  4. 4.Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre, Queen’s Medical CentreUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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