Position Paper for OZCHI

The BrightHearts Project: A New Approach to the Management of Procedure-Related Paediatric Anxiety

Dr George Poonkhin Khut, Dr Angie Morrow, Staff Specialist, and Dr Melissa YoguiWatanabe.

This is a position paper we’ve submitted for two workshop events at OZCHI in November-December 2011, in Canberra, ACT. OzCHI is Australia’s leading forum for work in all areas of Human-Computer Interaction. “OzCHI attracts an international community of practitioners, researchers, academics and students from a wide range of disciplines including user experience designers, information architects, software engineers, human factors experts, information systems analysts, social scientists and managers.” – http://www.ozchi.org/

Writing this position paper has provided a great opportunity to help place the project in the context of other research that has been done in the are of paediatric acute pain management and procedure-related anxiety. The next step will be to articulate the key design problems, issues and proposed methods that we’ll be working with, and how these relate to issues identified in this paper…


We survey existing approaches to the management of procedure-related pain and anxiety, including recent research utilising Virtual/Augmented Reality Distraction techniques, and then outline an approach that uses a biofeedback controlled interactive artwork as a focus for children to explore how they can regulate aspects of their psychophysiology (autonomic nervous system responses) through a combination of breath and attentive focus. Our research aims to assess the potential of small, portable biofeedback-based interactive artworks to mediate the perception and performance of the body in paediatric care: as experienced by children undergoing painful recurrent procedures.

KEYWORDS: Biofeedback, Biofeedback Assisted Relaxation Training, Paediatric, Acute, Pain, Distraction, Cognitive-Behavioural, Heart Rate, Temperature, Multimedia, Primary Care

Download the full paper here

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