Hospitalization and surgery potentially have a negative impact on children, which affects their well-being and that of their families. To minimize the traumatic effects of this experience, Sara Fernandes, Patrícia Arriaga and Francisco Esteves, researchers at CIS-IUL, developed educational materials that try to help to prepare children, aged 8 to 12, for paediatric outpatient surgery. The studies were conducted in different hospitals in the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo area, and showed positive results in reducing children's preoperative concerns and fears. At the same time, they contributed to reduce parental anxiety and to include parents as vehicles for preoperative educational transmission to children.
In view of these potential negative impacts, research in the area has also reinforced the need for preoperative preparation programs, particularly in paediatric hospital settings.
The project "An Adventure at the Hospital: Surgery Day" includes educational and playful materials developed in different formats - a board game, a giant board game (3 by 3 metres), an activity book and a multimedia application. This first edition will launch a board game that works with one to three players, and which includes a board representing a hospital, several playing cards, with questions and general information on some common practices on hospitalization and surgery. The remaining materials complement the project "An Adventure at the Hospital: Surgery Day", in particular the giant version of the game and the activity book, also in the process of being edited.
The board game, produced by the publisher Ideias com História, edited from January 2018, is sponsored by CIS-IUL (Centre for Research and Social Intervention of Instituto Universitário de Lisboa).
Previous studies that supported the development and edition of this project were funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and are published in major international scientific journals.