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Behind the scenes of the development of a serious game for health for children: An interdisciplinary interview study exploring perspectives from game designers, researchers, and experts from the field of hospital care
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatric oncology research with a special focus on side effects.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7242-5559
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Human-Computer Interaction.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9324-1994
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatric oncology research with a special focus on side effects. Department of Nursing, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3636-7173
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Pediatric oncology research with a special focus on side effects.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4949-2494
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is considered advantageous to adopt an interdisciplinary approach when creating serious games in the sphere of health practice. However, different fields have reported that interdisciplinary work is challenging. Yet, the literature is scarce regarding how participants within health research have experienced collaborative research. In 2019 and 2020 three teams worked together to produce a serious game for children undergoing radiotherapy. The game was designed for children aged 5-14 years. The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of the participants in the teams from the production phase of a serious game about radiotherapy. Thirteen in depth interviews were carried out with members from all three teams. The teams included game designers, a research team, and an expert team. The latter consisted of a play therapist, a pediatric nurse, and radiation oncology nurses. A reflective thematic analysis was performed where one main theme and four subthemes were formulated. The main theme was: A learning experience during the participatory process. The subthemes were: (1) New insights were established due to the collaboration, (2) Games give the impression of being easy, yet are complex to produce, (3) The amount of time spent meeting in the teams was beneficial to the experience, and (4) The impact of having confidence in the game that was designed. In conclusion, knowledge expansion arose on several levels during the production phase. Having time and building trust in team constellations are significant factors in achieving a productive and favorable/beneficial experience for participants. Further, confidence in the end product could be a contributory factor for participants continuing to work and the understanding of the complexity of the evolving process.

Keywords [en]
Interdisciplinary research, Qualitative method, Radiotherapy, Serious game
National Category
Interaction Technologies Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-515063OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-515063DiVA, id: diva2:1807330
Available from: 2023-10-25 Created: 2023-10-25 Last updated: 2023-10-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Alleviating anxiety in children with cancer facing radiotherapy: The creation of a serious game
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Alleviating anxiety in children with cancer facing radiotherapy: The creation of a serious game
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Children undergoing radiotherapy (RT) can experience anxiety, and explaining the procedure through a serious game could be a means to alleviate anxiety. Children have the right to take part in research that concerns them. Through co-creation stakeholders can be part of the process and thereby ensure that the developed product is suitable for the end users. The overarching aim was to investigate the developmental process of a serious game about RT, with a focus on the influence of co-creation, the feasibility of the game, and the game’s effects on self-rated anxiety by children undergoing RT.

The thesis consists of four studies, where the first three describes the developmental process of the serious game from different aspects. Study I describes the children’s and their parents’ contributions to the game development based on data from interviews, audio recordings from workshops, and filmed gameplay. Nine children participated, 7 to 10 years old. Study II describes the experiences of seven parents who participated in the first study through interviews. Study III consist of interviews made with thirteen researchers, game designers and hospital staff. The interviews describe the participants’ experiences of taking part in the developmental process of the game. In study IV, reach and acceptability of the game was tested through a feasibility study at one clinic. . It was a randomized pilot, waiting list based study where 22 children participated. Analyses were performed by thematic analysis (Study I and III), content analysis (Study II) and statistical calculations (Study IV).

The results showed that every participant involved in the development of the game contributed to the process. The method used in study I can be applied by researchers to co-create serious games with children. The children were active participants and had a consulting and informative role in the development, and their participation led to numerous changes. The interdisciplinary work was challenging but with ample time and an open climate it worked. A majority of children reported anxiety at the start of RT. In conclusion, the children’s participation impacted the game’s design and its content. The children’s abilities to participate in workshops was affected by their disease. Not all of the feasibility criteria set for study IV were reached. There were too few participants enrolled in the study to conclusively answer if the game had an effect on self-reported anxiety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2023. p. 74
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1994
Keywords
anxiety, game design, participatory design, pediatric oncology, psychological preparation, proton radiotherapy, serious game, interdisciplinary research
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-515060 (URN)978-91-513-1959-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-12-15, sal IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-11-22 Created: 2023-10-29 Last updated: 2023-11-22

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Cederved, CatarinaBack, JonÅngström Brännström, CharlotteLjungman, GustafEngvall, Gunn

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