Using ‘draw, write and tell’ to understand children’s health-related experiences
Evidence and practice    

Using ‘draw, write and tell’ to understand children’s health-related experiences

Nicole Pope Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia
Mary Tallon Lecturer, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia
Gavin Leslie Director of research training, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia
Sally Wilson Nurse researcher, Curtin University, Bentley, Western Australia

Background In recognising the capability and rights of children to express their experiences, ‘draw, write and tell’ (DWT) has emerged as a participatory qualitative research method. DWT enables children to communicate their experiences by drawing, writing words and telling the story of their pictures in response to interview questions.

Aim To discuss the challenges and benefits of using DWT to explore children’s experiences of pain.

Discussion Aspects that affect the quality of data in DWT include the materials used and the influences of the primary caregiver. Experience suggests that if trust between the child and researcher has been established, the duration of the interview is unimportant.

Conclusion While many methods of analysis can be used with data gathered using DWT, it is important to ensure children’s perspectives are represented accurately. Furthermore, children’s capacity as active participants in research should be reflected.

Implications for practice Future studies could examine the potential of using drawings to share information in adult and paediatric clinical settings.

Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2018.e1594


Pope N, Tallon M, Leslie G et al (2018) Using ‘draw, write and tell’ to understand children’s health-related experiences. Nurse Researcher. doi: 10.7748/nr.2018e1594

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared


The authors gratefully acknowledge the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation for the Seeding Grant [grant number 9596], and participating children, their families and their caregivers

Published online: 11 September 2018

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