Another game allows children to blow slime off animals they discover in the game in order to earn treasures.
Peter M. Bingham, lead author of the study and associate professor of neurology and pediatrics at the University of Vermont and pediatric neurologist at Fletcher Allen Health Care said, “The medical goal of the game was to increase breathing maneuvers that respiratory therapists believe can help keep the airways of cystic fibrosis patients clearer.”
The researchers tested their games on 13 children ages 8-18. The participants had their lung functions tested, then spent two weeks playing the games and another two weeks using the spirometer without game play. The research team concluded that the participants’ ability to take a deep breath improved significantly after playing the games, possibly because they practiced the breathing technique more while playing than they did simply using the spirometer.
Bingham concluded, “We think these results show that using spirometer games can be a good way to involve children in respiratory therapy.” He added, “I think 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.”
The results of the study will be presented at the 2011 Pediatric Academic Society meeting in Denver.
Reviewed July 28, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle