Feasibility and acceptability of a game-based symptom-reporting app for children with cancer: perspectives of children and parents.
BACKGROUND: Children with cancer have difficulty identifying and describing the multiple symptoms they experience during hospitalization and between clinical encounters. Mobile health resources, including apps, are potential solutions to support child-centric symptom reporting. This study evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of a newly developed game-based symptom-reporting app for school-age children with cancer.
PROCEDURE: Nineteen school-age children (6-12 years of age) receiving treatment for cancer at a COG institution in the Intermountain West of the United States used a game-based symptom-reporting app between clinical visits. Feasibility was evaluated through a summary of actual days of app use and interaction with each of the app's features. Children and their parents participated in interviews regarding the app's acceptability.
RESULTS: Children used the app a median of 4 days (range 1-12) and interacted most frequently with the symptom reporting and the drawing features. Children enjoyed aspects of the app that supported their creativity and provided choices. Parents endorsed the interactive nature of the app and the value of the child providing his/her own report. Both children and parents identified additional opportunities to enhance the child's user experience.
CONCLUSION: Study results support the preliminary feasibility and acceptability of the app. Children's and parents' responses supported the developmental relevance of the app and its role in enhancing the child's autonomy and serving as an outlet for creativity. Future directions include optimizing the child user's experience and investigating the app's role as a resource to enhance shared decision-making for symptom management.
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Cancer; Children; Games for health; Gamification; Mobile technology; Symptom assessment; mHealth
Linder LA, Newman AR, Stegenga K, et al. Feasibility and acceptability of a game-based symptom-reporting app for children with cancer: perspectives of children and parents. Support Care Cancer. 2021;29(1):301-310. doi:10.1007/s00520-020-05495-w