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Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Using participatory and creative research methods to develop and pilot an informative game for preparing children for blood tests.

Oulton, K, Oldrieve, N, Bayliss, J, Jones, V, Manning, I, Shipway, L and Gibson, Faith (2017) Using participatory and creative research methods to develop and pilot an informative game for preparing children for blood tests. Arts & Health, 10 (3). pp. 227-240.

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Venepuncture for blood sampling is a needle-related medical procedure most feared by children. We sought to develop and evaluate a prototype ‘tool’ to help prepare for blood tests.


A user-experience design, using creative arts/art making was utilized. Twenty-three children aged 4-12 with haematological conditions participated. Phase 1 involved children working with a professional illustrator to develop a blood preparatory ‘tool’. Phase 2 involved children using a paper prototype of the ‘tool’ and providing feedback.


Children indicated they wanted the ‘tool’ to be a game to use before blood tests. Drawing on the work carried out with children, and with input from our advisory group a Blood Quest game was developed. The game was designed to take children on a journey around the body, learning facts about the blood and completing simple blood related activities. Half of all children said they felt better about having their blood taken after playing the ‘Blood Quest’ game and half reported feeling the same. The majority of children who tested the game found it fun and informative, with 12 of the 16 participants reporting having learnt something new about the blood.


The end product was well received. This small-scale pilot evaluation suggests that with further refinement, the game has the potential for young children to feel more informed and less frightened about having their blood taken.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
Oulton, K
Oldrieve, N
Bayliss, J
Jones, V
Manning, I
Shipway, L
Date : 2 November 2017
DOI : 10.1080/17533015.2017.1392329
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Arts & Health on 2 November 2017, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords : Visual arts, digital media, paediatric and infant health, nursing
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 28 Nov 2017 15:07
Last Modified : 02 Nov 2018 02:08

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