Abstract

Introduction: Insulin therapy is of high importance in glycemic control and prevention of complications in type 1 diabetes in children. However, this treatment is unpleasant and stressful for many children, and it is difficult for them to accept. The purpose of the study was to design and develop an educational computer game for diabetic children to familiarize them with insulin injections.

Methods: After a review of the literature and the collection of basic information, we discussed the purpose of this research with some diabetic children, their parents, and nurses. The findings that we acquired from the discussion were considered in designing and developing the game. Then, following the principles associated with the development of computer games, we developed seven different games that related to insulin injections, and the games were evaluated in a pilot study.

Results: The games developed through the design and programming environment of Adobe Flash Player and stored on a computer disk (CD). The seven games were a pairs game, a puzzle game, a question and answer game, an insulin kit game, a drawing room game, a story game, and an insulin injection-room game). The idea was that diabetic children could become acquainted with insulin injections and the injection toolkit by playing a variety of entertaining and fun games. They also learned about some of the issues associated with insulin and experienced insulin injection in a simulated environment.

Conclusions: It seems that the use of new technologies, such as computer games, can influence diabetic children’s acquaintance with the correct method of insulin injection, psychological readiness to initiate insulin therapy, reduction in stress, anxiety, and fear of insulin injection 

Key words: children, diabetes mellitus type 1, insulin injection, computer game
 
 
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