How gaming technologies can help cancer patients communicate better


Credit: Lancaster University

Lancaster University is sharing in a €4m project to use gaming technology to improve the care of both adults and children with cancer.

The project – called “MyPal: Fostering Palliative Care of Adults and Children with Cancer through Advanced Patient Reported Outcome Systems” funded by EU Horizon 2020, has 16 partners in seven countries.

It aims to investigate the use of apps and electronic games created and adapted specifically to the personal needs of patients.

Professor Sheila Payne and Dr Sean Hughes from the International Observatory on End of Life Care at Lancaster University will be leading the Dissemination activities for the project for the next three-and-a-half years.

Professor Payne said: “Communication is often the aspect that patients rate the worst. We find that patients are often satisfied with the clinical care they receive but have concerns about how best to communicate their needs with their doctors and nurses.

“The new apps and games will contain a checklist of common symptoms and concerns so patients can easily explain how they are feeling. This will give space for them to talk about what’s important at this time which may be different to what the doctors think is important. This will help doctors and nurses to provide individual patient centred care.”

Lancaster’s role will be to raise awareness of the project and to disseminate the results, create an e-book of best practice guidelines, as well as organising an international conference.

MyPal is coordinated by Dr Vassilis Koutkias of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, Thessaloniki, Greece.


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