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Helping Kids Describe Cancer Symptoms Through Cartoons and Digital Technology

By Kate Rauch    |   ucsf.edu | August 8, 2012

Helping Kids Describe Cancer Symptoms Through Cartoons and Digital Technology

How are you sleeping? Any nausea? How about pain? Monitoring symptoms is an important part of cancer care, as it guides treatment decisions.

But tracking the symptoms of children with cancer, especially young kids, is particularly challenging because they may not understand the questions, or their importance, says Christina Baggott, PhD, RN, assistant professor at the UCSF School of Nursing.

Colorful cartoon characters and interactive digital technology may help. Preliminary results of a recent study by Baggott, a trained oncology nurse, found that children with cancer were significantly more likely to weigh in on their symptoms when using a kid-friendly touch-screen computer assessment tool, than the standard written checklist.

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