Game for Health
Development and evaluation of eHealth interventions for addressing the psychological needs of children and young people with long-term physical conditions
Game for Health: Development and evaluation of eHealth interventions for addressing the psychological needs of children and young people with long-term physical conditions
About this project
Children and young people with long-term physical conditions (LTPC/chronic illness) are at increased risk of developing psychological problems, especially anxiety and depression. During this project, we examined the psychological needs of New Zealand children with LTPC, explored the potential for eHealth interventions to address these needs and co-designed and evaluated a new eHealth intervention for treating anxiety called ‘Starship Rescue’.
Starship Rescue is a five-module computer game aimed at children aged 8-18 years, based on principles of cognitive behaviour therapy and biofeedback. During a pilot trial of the game with 24 young people aged 10-18, it was found to reduce anxiety, improve quality of life and to be acceptable to players. A randomised controlled trial of the game is due to commence in mid-2021.
Who is involved?
Principal investigator: Hiran Thabrew
Co-investigators: Christopher Frampton, Harshali Kumar, Sally Merry, Karolina Stasiak and Tarique Naseem.
How long will it take?
The project commenced in July 2014 and is expected to be completed by December 2022.
What we hope to achieve
We hope that Starship Rescue is an acceptable, cost-effective and scalable eHealth intervention with which children and young people with LTPC can address anxiety, thereby improving their well-being and quality of life.
Publications related to this project:
- Thabrew H, Stasiak K, Garcia‐Hoyos V, Merry SN. Game for health: How eHealth approaches might address the psychological needs of children and young people with long‐term physical conditions. Journal of paediatrics and child health. 2016 Nov;52(11):1012-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27529150/
- Thabrew H, Stasiak K, Hetrick SE, Wong S, Huss JH, Merry SN. Psychological therapies for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with long-term physical conditions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd012488 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6464829/
- Thabrew H, Stasiak K, Hetrick SE, Wong S, Huss JH, Merry SN. eHealth interventions for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with long-term physical conditions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd012489 https://www.cochrane.org/CD012489/DEPRESSN_e-health-interventions-anxiety-and-depression-children-and-adolescents-long-term-physical-conditions
- Thabrew H, Ruppeldt P, Sollers JJ. Systematic review of biofeedback interventions for addressing anxiety and depression in children and adolescents with long-term physical conditions. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. 2018 Sep 1;43(3):179-92. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29946920/
- Thabrew H, Fleming T, Hetrick S, Merry S. Co-design of eHealth interventions with children and young people. Frontiers in psychiatry. 2018 Oct 18;9:481. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00481/full
- Thabrew H, Staskiak Stasiak K, Kumar H, Naseem T, Frampton C, Merry S. Co-Design and Open Trial of Starship Rescue, a Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Biofeedback, and Game-Based eHealth Intervention to Treat Anxiety in Children and Young People with Long-Term Physical Conditions. Submitted for publication to JMIR in November 2020