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An interdisciplinary approach to the development of eHealth solutions in oncology with focus on gamification Passed

Thursday May 19, 2022 13:40 - 14:00 A5

Lecturers: Helle Pappot, Karin Piil

Track: Digitala vårdmöten - forskning i Sverige & Abroad

During recent years we have been working with the role and involvement of relatives in oncology at our institution. In this work we came across an unserved need, realizing that many young adolescents and children whose parents have cancer, describe how they are not seen, heard, or listened to. A problem that seemed even more evident when the sick parent was admitted to hospital departments e.g. because of severe side effects, complications, or worsened disease. To come up with possible solutions to partly solve this problem with realized that we had to search for new inspiration, and in 2018 we started a collaboration with The Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, Design and Conservation. We believed that the establishment of a collaboration with a science area outside the technology and healthcare field could help create solutions for better social interaction between parents with cancer and their children during hospitalization. The specific study performed in an interdisciplinary setting aimed at developing user-friendly tools to enhance social interaction between a parent with cancer and their child when the child visits the parent in the hospital.

Initial meetings between health care researchers and gaming and visual design experts from The Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, Design and Conservation agreed on a program for achieving the aim. At the planning our focus was on how bringing together different disciplines, such as design, art and health care, would allow a broader perspective, possible resulting in improved solutions.

Design students within the Visual Design program were tasked with developing games addressing the objective of strengthening relations during cancer treatment. The students worked in 4 groups. The applied methods included:

Phase I – professional lectures (e.g. by gaming specialists, anthropologist, health care professionals), user studies and visual communication

Phase II – interviews with clinicians at the hospital

Phase III – co-creative workshops with feed-back

Phase IV – Evaluation sessions with selected populations (participants in acceptance and usability testing)

Our modified user design had the child aged 4-18 years of a parent with cancer as the primary user.

The process resulted in 4 different games based on the same information (phase I-III). All games were able to make adults with cancer interact with their children on a common electronic platform with a joint goal. However, the games differed due to interaction, theme, and graphical expression, suggesting that this is a wide field to explore and many solutions exist to the same solve the same task. This fact may be considered when a hospital aims to develop new solutions. Hidden resources can be identified applying an interdisciplinary approach. 

This case describes a methodology for interdisciplinary game development in a public health care system involving health care researchers, gaming and visual design specialists, students, nurses, users (children with a parent having cancer), anthropologist and participants in acceptance and usability testing. Based on our experience interdisciplinary development of new eHealth solutions may lead to user-friendly eHealth solutions for the health care system. We believe that an interdisciplinary approach to solving tasks in the health care system may create more user-friendly solutions, especially within eHealth.




Spetsteknik för hälsa, vård och omsorg

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Profile image for Helle Pappot

Helle Pappot Lecturer


Professor in clinical oncology with focus on patientinvolvement and patient reported outcome (PRO)
Research interest: patientinvolvement, PRO, eHealth, urooncology

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Karin Piil Lecturer

Associate professor
University Hospital of Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet

The aim of my research is to advance the field of cancer care and symptom and concern management across populations but also to expand the roles that nurses and associated health professionals take on in new models of care. focuses on life strategies, quality of life, symptom science, e-health with patient-reported outcomes, patient and public involvement in research, the professional identity of nurses, nurse-led consultations and family functioning. I have broadened my research portfolio to cover a variety of cancer populations in the effort to provide positive care experiences for patients and their families. In 2018 an innovative collaboration with researchers and students from the Royal Danish Academy – Architecture, Design, Conservation was established and has resulted in innovative projects.