#ItDoesntHaveToHurt partners with Twitter Canada to engage with parents about children’s pain

This is a guest post submitted by Christine Chambers, PhD, Canada Research Chair in Children’s Pain, Dalhousie University & IWK Health Centre @drcchambers


For the last year, we have been partnering with Erica Ehm’s YummyMummyClub.ca (YMC) to bring parents #ItDoesntHaveToHurt, a social media initiative aimed to improve parents awareness and used of evidence-based information about children’s pain.  ItDoesntHaveToHurt translates scientific knowledge children’s pain management into blog posts, YouTube videos, Twitter parties, Facebook polls, and Instagram images, all posted and promoted on the YMC website and social media. Since its launch in September 2015, #ItDoesntHaveToHurt as generated over 130 million impressions (i.e., possible content views) and won multiple awards including, most recently, Best Online Campaign at the Canadian Online Publishers Awards, and was a Finalist for Best Branded Content at the DIGI awards, which recognize the best in Canadian digital media.

#ItDoesntHaveToHurt marked its first anniversary with a special knowledge translation event at Twitter Canada Headquarters in Toronto on September 15, 2016. The event brought together all the scientists, parents, members of the health community (including two representatives from the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres), content creators, and digital influencers who have partnered to develop, implement, and evaluate #ItDoesntHaveToHurt.

The live event was complemented by a 1 hour online Twitter party that allowed parents and scientists to engage live about various topics in children’s pain. In addition to allowing us to base our event at their headquarters, Twitter Canada allowed us to use their proprietary Q&A video app to answer parents’ questions live over video. This was the first time the app, which has been previously been used only by high profile individuals and celebrities (e.g., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, athlete Jose Bautista), was used to engage with the public about health information.

The Twitter party generated more than 7,000 tweets about children’s pain with over 350 participants and had a reach of over 6 million people. There were over 3,000 views of the videotaped answers to parents’ questions about pain. Moreover, #ItDoesntHaveToHurt trended #1 on social media that evening.

To date, #ItDoesntHaveToHurt has been primarily funded by a Knowledge to Action operating grant from the Canadian Institutions of Health Research. Partners include: the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation, the Canadian Pain Coalition, and the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres of Canada. The IWK Health Centre recently announced that they will be funding a continuation of the initiative into 2017.

More information about the event with Twitter Canada can be found in these media articles:

Summaries of the tweets sent during the event at Twitter Canada and during the online Twitter Party (including videotaped responses to parents) can be found at:

More information about #ItDoesntHaveTohurt is available at: http://itdoesnthavetohurt.ca/ and all of our #ItDoesntHaveToHurt content for parents is archived at: http://pediatric-pain.ca/ItDoesntHaveToHurtInitiative

Ann Watkins#IDHTH, PainComment