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Calling on the Pain Squad

Every year at SickKids, hundreds of kids are battling various forms of cancer. Pain is a common and distressing symptom of cancer and its treatment. A vital part of treatment is tracking the pain these kids experience. Patients and their parents are often asked to keep track of their pain in diaries to help health care providers better understand and treat their pain. In the past, this was done with pen and paper. But kids with cancer are not motivated to perform this unpleasant task.

Dr. Stinson, a nurse clinician scientist at SickKids, had the spark of an idea: use technology that kids love to turn the pain-reporting chore into a game. With funding from the C17 Council for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders, she set out to develop and test an iPhone-based pain diary for kids.

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