Improving behavioural stages in children by adaptive applications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


For chronic disease patients, passive, education and empowerment have limited potential for making them change their behaviour. There is a need to design interventions that can change patients' long-term behaviour rather than simply transfer abstract knowledge about their disease. This paper focuses on the role of 'adaptive games' in positively changing the behaviour of children with chronic disorders toward their disease and educating them to empower self-management of their disease. Adaptive or intelligent games 'learn' from the patients' situation (based on their medical records and personal profiles) and then the game adapts itself to the new situation and creates new strategies to educate the patient in order to reinforce positive behaviour on the part of the patient. In order to determine what characteristics of games children find most attractive, i.e. would make them to want to repeatedly play a game, an evaluation study was conducted with 8 children - 5 girls and 3 boys aged between 7.5-11. years. An important feature for most children was that the game had to be visually attractive, but there was a difference in what this meant to boys and girls. Boys wanted speed and no text whereas girls did not mind speed or text. In addition, a number of elements which girls felt important, e.g. interaction and seeing connections between real life and the game, were not mentioned by boys. The findings of the study support the hypothesis that games can be designed to support patients in the long-term management of their chronic disease. They also indicate that for optimal engagement different customisation will be required for boys and girls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalJournal on Information Technology in Healthcare
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Improving behavioural stages in children by adaptive applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this