Journal article Open Access

Providing Emotional Support to Children under Long-Term Health Treatments

Ramón Cruzat; Sergio F. Ochoa; Ignacio Casas; Luis A. Guerrero; José Bravo

Patients under health treatments that involve long 
stays at a hospital or health center (e.g. cancer, organ transplants and 
severe burns), tend to get bored or depressed because of the lack of 
social interaction with family and friends. Such a situation also 
affects the evolution and effectiveness of their treatments. In many 
cases, the solution to this problem involves extra challenges, since 
many patients need to rest quietly (or remain in bed) to their being 
contagious. Considering the weak health condition in which usually 
are these kinds, keeping them motivated and quiet represents an 
important challenge for nurses and caregivers. This article presents a 
mobile ubiquitous game called MagicRace, which allows hospitalized 
kinds to interact socially with one another without putting to risk 
their sensitive health conditions. The game does not require a 
communication infrastructure at the hospital, but instead, it uses a 
mobile ad hoc network composed of the handheld devices used by 
the kids to play. The usability and performance of this application 
was tested in two different sessions. The preliminary results show 
that users experienced positive feelings from this experience.

 

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