Will computer games help children with cystic fibrosis?
Published: 1st May 2011 00:17:01
Could computer games be the solution for persuading children with cystic fibrosis to complete their physiotherapy?
The genetic condition leads to the build-up of thick mucus in the lungs.
Physiotherapy, including breathing exercises, is used to clear the lungs and open up the airways.
Carys, aged 12, from Glasgow, has two sessions a day, - but as her mother, Michelle McMonagle, says: "There is a conflict between what she wants to do and what she knows she has to do."
For Carys, computer games, drawing, music, drama and movies are all more appealing.
"There's other things she wants to do. It's like washing dishes or any chore, you'd rather be doing anything else," says Ms McMonagle.
Doctors in the US have noticed children rarely perform their breathing exercises, preferring to do other things, such as playing computer games - so they combined the two.
Instead of using a hand-held controller or motion sensor, these games rely on a spirometer, which measures how much and how fast air is exhaled.
Breathing is used to drive a car in one racing game and to blow slime off animals in another.
Professor Peter Bingham, from the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care, tried the games out on 13 children with cystic fibrosis (CF), aged between eight and 18.
He said: "The key finding was that children actually use them.
"Spirometer games can be a good way to involve children in respiratory therapy.
"It's ethical and appropriate to meet kids where they are with some engaging, digital games that can help them take charge of their own health."
Professor Peter Bingham now wants to do a larger clinical trial on the games' effectiveness.
Ms McMonagle said: "I know lots of parents who already use trampolines to encourage exercise; anything that makes physio more attractive is going to help."
The condition affects more than 8,500 children and young adults in the UK.
Gemma Matthews, from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: "Children with CF have a heavy daily burden of treatment every day, which they often find tiresome.
"Clinicians and parents are constantly thinking of new ways to encourage children to do their treatment and engaging them through video games is a great way to make treatment less of a chore."
At 19:39:42 in EnglandThe family of a man who died, despite seven 999 calls for an ambulance, said he was failed in his "moment of need".
At 19:38:42 in SportNetherlands keeper Michel Vorm believes Louis van Gaal would be the ideal choice as Manchester United manager.
At 19:32:11 in EnglandHeathrow Airport is gearing towards the opening of its new Terminal 2 by unveiling Europe's largest privately funded sculpture.
At 19:27:52 in EnglandThe death of a 10-year-old boy who was hit by a car as he crossed the road outside his house was accidental, an inquest has heard.
At 19:13:07 in PoliticsPrivate parking firms paid more than £6m to the DVLA for the names and addresses of drivers in the past year - an increase of 28%, figures suggest.
At 19:12:17 in EnglandPoppies have been planted as part of a social media campaign to mark the First World War in Jersey.
At 19:11:22 in WalesGriff Rhys Jones has withdrawn from becoming Cardiff University's new chancellor just two weeks after an embarrassing debacle which saw his appointment halted at the last minute.
At 19:04:14 in EnglandA theatre company is hoping to have set a new world record by performing an abridged version of Shakespeare's works at more than 37,000ft (11,278m).
At 18:56:33 in WorldThe Iron Curtain fell 25 years ago, but it seems that nobody told the deer.
At 18:54:46 in EnglandA council is expanding the size of graves to accommodate obese people - and could charge extra for larger people to be buried in them.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2011. Will computer games help children with cystic fibrosis? [Online] (Updated 1st May 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/150127/Will-computer-games-help-children-with-cystic-fibrosis [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
The cost of drugs is in the headlines following the decision by NHS watchdog NICE that a new cancer treatment should not be funded.
Private parking firms paid more than £6m to the DVLA for the names and addresses of drivers in the past year - an increase of 28%, figures suggest.
Portugal's chances of exiting its three-year bailout programme rose after the sale of 10-year government debt fell sharply to a record low 3.57%.
The Iron Curtain fell 25 years ago, but it seems that nobody told the deer.
Tesco's internet service has been hit by two separate problems that coincided, leaving some of its customers irate.
A home security company is creating 230 jobs by expanding its operations in the Republic of Ireland.