<em>Dr Dave moves into Web 2.0: Creating a digital supportive care resource from a comic book for children undergoing radiotherapy for cancer</em> — ASN Events

Dr Dave moves into Web 2.0: Creating a digital supportive care resource from a comic book for children undergoing radiotherapy for cancer (#95)

Megan Chiswell 1 , Greg Wheeler 2 , Brigid Moran 2
  1. Cancer Information and Support Service, Cancer Council Victoria, MELBOURNE, VIC, Australia
  2. Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Aims: Age-appropriate preparation has been shown to reduce anxiety and the need for anaesthetics for children undergoing radiotherapy for cancer.    This presentation will describe the steps taken to create new interactive digital animations to prepare paediatric patients, and guide discussion between radiation therapists, parents and children about the need for radiotherapy, the requirements for treatment and the treatment environment. The animations were produced based on a comic book named ‘Dr Dave and his amazing radiotherapy machine.’

Methods: The animations were conceptualised from the original comic, with two discrete Dr Dave adventures defined for production. The proposed adventures were reviewed by stakeholders prior to production including radiation therapists and oncology nurses. The animation process included manipulation and layering of the comic artwork, and creation of new artwork to reflect advances in treatment technology.  Voice over recording of the speech in the comic, including the voices of children was undertaken, and sound effects added to the sound track.  Animating the artwork, timed to the soundtrack was the final stage of production.  Testing of the animations, on a variety of devices including PC, smart phone and tablet was undertaken to ensure accessibility.

Results: Two interactive adventures that use touch-screen technology to progress the animation were produced to be used in the preparation of children for radiotherapy treatment. In addition, two short movies, and some colouring pages featuring Dr Dave and his adventures were also created. The animations can be accessed through the hospital website, and viewed on a variety of devices, independent of the hospital environment.

Conclusions: The addition of animated resources for children undergoing radiotherapy for cancer provides an alternative and engaging option for patient preparation, access to information and supportive care. Touch-screen technology allows paediatrics to control their engagement with the animation, and remote access offers ease of accessibility.