Video Game Benefits Children With Cancer

HopeLab today released a new downloadable computer game called Re-Mission to aid children and young adults who have been stricken with cancer. The game, which is ...
HopeLab today released a new downloadable computer game called Re-Mission to aid children and young adults who have been stricken with cancer. The game, which is available free of charge to young people with cancer, has been scientifically shown to improve health-related outcomes associated with cancer. The focus of the first-ever randomized, controlled trial focused exclusively on adolescents and young adults with cancer, Re-Mission was developed through the collaborative efforts of young people with cancer, researchers, medical experts and game developers. The study looked at 375 teens and young adults with cancer at 34 medical centers in the United States, Canada and Australia. Data from the study showed statistically significant improvements in cancer-related self-efficacy, social quality of life, cancer-specific knowledge, and adherence to prescribed medication regimens in patients who played Re-Mission. Among study participants who were prescribed oral chemotherapy or antibiotics, those who played Re-Mission maintained high levels of adherence to their prescribed medication regimens. Participants playing Re-Mission maintained higher levels of chemotherapy in their blood and took their antibiotics more consistently than those in the control group who did not receive Re-Mission. In Re-Mission, players control a Nanobot named Roxxi as they combat cancer cells throughout the human body, battling cancer and its life-threatening effects. The game combines biologic accuracy with an honest depiction of the challenges faced by young cancer patients. Through 20 different levels, the game illustrates what occurs inside the bodies of young cancer patients and how they can most effectively fight their disease. "Re-Mission works. It gives teens and young adults a sense of power and control over their cancer," said Pat Christen, president of HopeLab. "Research on Re-Mission was conducted in much the same way research into a new drug is conducted, with rigorous testing based on scientific principles. Our study findings clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the game in improving health-related outcomes for these kids. It's great news.” While the game is currently available for free to teens and young people living with cancer, HopeLab will release English, French and Spanish versions of the game for general download on May 1 for $20.

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