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Pivot Etc.

Reflecting on 25 years: Improving Pain Management for Paediatric Cancer Patients

May 29, 2024 3 minute read

Pivot takes a look back at 12 very special projects to mark 25 years serving their clients

The research team at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) developed the Pain Squad App for young cancer patients, aged 8 to 18, to monitor their pain levels before, during, and after medical procedures or treatments.

Pivot became involved in the project in 2014 to enhance the user experience of the existing PainSquad mobile app. Our main goal was to improve the gamification algorithm and incorporate new, easy-to-use features tailored to the specific needs of this particular user group. Despite limited access to our user groups due to research and privacy constraints, we were still able to gather user feedback at key stages throughout the process, which would help to inform the final design.

The outcome of the app has been twofold;

  • Adolecsents are given real-time strategies to better manage and cope with their pain
  • Nursing staff are able to better monitor and care for their patients

SickKids conducted a feasibility study which revealed that adolescents with cancer experienced notably reduced pain intensity and less interference with their daily activities after using the PainSquad+ app for 28 days. Additionally, the teens offered valuable suggestions for enhancing the app.

A comprehensive multi-center randomized controlled trial is underway across Canada to further explore the app's impact.


Learn more about PainSquad+

Learn more about the app on SickKids iOUCH Lab

Read our Project Case Study