top of page

Parables of Care: creative responses to dementia care as told by carers

Parables of Care: creative responses to dementia care as told by carers (ISBN 9781527212008), a 16 page comic book presenting 14 stories.


Ernesto Priego, Peter Wilkins, Christopher Sperandio, City University of London, Portman NHS Trust, Douglas College, Vancouver.

Graphic medicine is a term that encompasses autobiography, therapy and pedagogy. Autobiography shows personal stories of healthcare by artists. Therapy is the use of comics to effect changes in health. Pedagogy is the use of comics to teach best practices in health care. The Care ‘n’ Share dataset at City University of London is an output of previous research. It contains 100+ personal accounts of responses to dementia care challenges, told by professional and voluntary carers.
The research explored the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research. The researchers recognised the data as parables, with a formal reflection in Japanese manga ‘yonkoma’ strips, which always comprises four panels and strictly allocates types of action to each. Yonkoma guides reading to the point of incomprehensibility, whilst remaining coherent, reflecting experiences of dementia care. The output provided a new resource for carers of people with dementia, mechanisms for further sharing of stories, analysis of the affective capacity of the comics medium and public and academic dissemination of insights.

The research demonstrated the affective capacity of comics for readers (carers. The focus on the personal experience of carers is unusual. It pioneers a broader scope for study of the ways in which patient-centered care constitutes emotional and creative collaborations between patient and carers, alongside professional roles.

The output Parables of Care substantiated an international programme of academic dissemination: three co-authored books, two conference papers and one academic symposium.
The output also substantiated a programme of public dissemination: one media resource and one item of media commentary.

bottom of page