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Jun 19, 2019

MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting on Supportive Care in Cancer

12 - BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ROBOT TECHNOLOGY

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childhood cancer

school-entry

technology

telepresence robots

intra-action

Abstract

Abstract

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Keywords

childhood cancer

school-entry

technology

telepresence robots

intra-action

Abstract

Introduction: Children and adolescents with cancer experience social, psychological and educational difficulties, because of treatment-related absenteeism, once they return to school. This results in 20% of the children having to repeat a class. New technology may facilitate education by connecting the child to the classroom despite being physically absent. This pilot-study explores if and how telepresence-robots can support school-aged children with cancer to maintain socially and academically connected with their class during treatment, and thereby facilitate their social and educational development. Methods: The intervention pilot-study, entails implementation and extradition of AV1-robots for children with cancer, during treatment. School-aged children (n=3, 12-14 years) diagnosed with cancer or cancer-related illness were included, along with their parents (n=3), teachers (n=2), classmates (n=15) and medical-professionals (n=4) in 2017-2018. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews combined with participant observation in the classrooms. Results: Three themes were found relating to sociality, learning, and technology. The study showed that telepresence robots can facilitate social interaction processes with classmates and inclusion in learning activities, which reduced the sense of loneliness and exclusion. However, the robot-intervention is influenced by multiple factors that determine whether the robot technology is inclusive or exclusive for the child, including; the technical functionality of the robot, the well-being of the child, and the expectations between the parties involved. Conclusions: The telepresence-robots may provide new possibilities for school-aged children to continue their regular education, despite being hospitalized or isolated at home. However, technology improvements and further evidence-based research are needed. Keywords: 1. childhood cancer, 2. school-entry, 3. technology 4. telepresence robot, 6. intra-action.

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© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.