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Computer games help children overcome pain from cancer treatment

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Children with cancer gaming
Children with cancer gaming   -   Copyright  Photo by FUNDACIÓN JUEGATERAPIA
By Louise Miner

A new study in Spain has found computer games can help children overcome pain from cancer treatments.

The research conducted in the Hospital de la Paz in Madrid, also showed that playing video games helps them with their recovery.

Mucositis is usually an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer producing painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract.

The study analysed pain levels by monitoring heart rates and eye responses in children going through chemotherapy.

Ignacio Gonzales is the Chief Medical Officer at the Mdoloris Medical Systems and he said, "This is the idea that the chief of anesthesia, for the hospital de la PazFrancisco Reinoso, thought that children going through very painful treatment in some kind of cancer, which was mucositis, could be the pain that they suffer, could be relieved with video games."

Twenty children around the age of 11.5 years of age, both boys and girls, were studied a day before using video games and a day after gaming.

Photo by FUNDACIÓN JUEGATERAPIA
Child enjoying a video gamePhoto by FUNDACIÓN JUEGATERAPIA

After using the video games the study found considerable analgesic effects despite lower amounts of morphine given.

Gonzales added "They found out that due to these video games, they were able to reduce half the amount that these children receive of opioids and as well the total amount of opioid that they receive per day. So it was a great success."

For the full interview please click on the player icon at the top of the story.