Paediatric procedural anxiety (PPA) occurs when children experience anxiety whilst undergoing medical procedures. This is especially prevalent in children requiring long-term treatment (e.g., Chemotherapy). PPA is often caused by a fear of the unknown and prior negative experiences, thereby leading to children experiencing exemplified pain, fear, and distress whilst being treated. Increased PPA can cause the child to not cooperate with treatment causing worse or delayed treatment outcomes. Therefore, to aid in better patient outcomes and increased trust in medical procedures, the challenge relates to how PPA can be reduced for children (3 – 10 years) requiring long-term medical treatment.
TOKEVENTURE utilises adventure play to reduce PPA. When treatment is determined, the child gains access to an app teaching them about their treatment. They also receive an adventure map based on their treatment that they must complete by going to treatments and collecting reward tokens. Whilst also acting as a distraction, these tokens give the child the ability to play digital mini-games whilst receiving treatment, thereby helping them associate treatments with adventures they must complete. Therefore, when combined with education and the sense of achievement created through map progression, it helps with positive association towards procedures, thereby reducing PPA.
TOKEVENTURE utilises methods before, during and after procedures to help reduce PPA. Instead of diminishing the worries of children about their treatments, the education aspect utilises social stories to help give them a sense of decision-making autonomy. Similarly, by showing them their medical journey, it helps with transparency in teaching the child that they have a long road ahead but are slowly working towards the end goal. TOKEVENTURE is also designed to be low-cost, thereby increasing accessibility. The token collector is a flat pack MDF/acrylic design, and the tokens utilise NFC tags and readers to play games.
How is TOKEVENTURE used holistically across the child’s medical journey? 1.When the child is diagnosed, they will gain access to a TOKEVENTURE kit. This kit includes a flat pack token collector that they can put together, a custom map of their treatment and an education token that teaches them about their treatment. 2.The child can scan the education app using a phone and learn about their treatment with the help of their parents. This was designed for the 3 – 10-year-old demographic, thereby including picture and sound elements, also encouraging the use between parent and child. 3.When at treatment, the child can play the next token adventure on their map. This is done through NFC game tokens that are played on a token reader. The token readers can be customised by the hospital. The token reader can be used on the patient’s leg, held in their hand or on the table. 4.Once both treatment and game are complete, they take the token home and display it on their map. 5.These tokens can later be scanned using an app (QR code) to access rewards, play games and keep a digital record of their map.