Symptoms and daily experiences reported by children with cancer using a game-based app.

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Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.pedn.2022.04.013


PURPOSE: Mobile health (mHealth) resources, including apps, are emerging as resources to support children in tracking symptoms and other health-related data. The purpose of this study was to describe symptoms and daily experiences reported by elementary school-age children receiving treatment for cancer using the newly developed Color Me Healthy app.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants in this descriptive study were children 6-12 years of age, who were receiving cancer treatment at a free-standing children's hospital in the Intermountain West of the United States. Children were requested to use the app for at least five days between clinical visits. Children's app-reported data were extracted from individual user accounts for analysis. Quantitative data were summarized descriptively. Qualitative data were summarized using qualitative content analysis.

RESULTS: Nineteen children (6-12 years; median 8 years; 7 females) completed 107 days of app use. All children reported symptoms at least once, and 14 reported at least one day with a symptom of moderate or greater severity. Daily experiences reported through the app reflected children's engagement in usual childhood experiences while also describing life with cancer, including symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Elementary school-age children are capable of self-reporting symptoms using a symptom reporting app, providing preliminary evidence for the potential benefits and clinical relevance of mHealth resources to support health outcomes within this population.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians should anticipate and support ongoing symptom management needs between clinical visits. Children's self-reported data can promote a person-centered approach to symptom assessment and management.

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Journal of pediatric nursing



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MeSH Keywords

Child; Female; Humans; Mobile Applications; Neoplasms; Self Report; Symptom Assessment; Telemedicine


Child; Childhood cancer; Digital health; Symptoms; mHealth

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