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Children 2018, 5(2), 16; doi:10.3390/children5020016

A Review of Apps for Calming, Relaxation, and Mindfulness Interventions for Pediatric Palliative Care Patients

Department of Cardiology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, South 42nd Street and Emile Street, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
Children’s Hospital and Medical Center 8200 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68114, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 28 December 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 26 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pediatric Palliative Care)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [192 KB, uploaded 26 January 2018]


Patients and families increasingly use mobile apps as a relaxation and distraction intervention for children with complex, chronic medical conditions in the waiting room setting or during inpatient hospitalizations; and yet, there is limited data on app quality assessment or review of these apps for level of engagement, functionality, aesthetics, or applicability for palliative pediatric patients. The pediatric palliative care study team searched smartphone application platforms for apps relevant to calming, relaxation, and mindfulness for pediatric and adolescent patients. Apps were reviewed using a systematic data extraction tool. Validated Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS) scores were determined by two blinded reviewers. Apps were then characterized by infant, child, adolescent, and adult caregiver group categories. Reviewer discussion resulted in consensus. Sixteen of the 22 apps identified were included in the final analysis. The apps operated on either iOS or Android platforms. All were available in English with four available in Spanish. Apps featured a relaxation approach (12/16), soothing images (8/16), and breathing techniques (8/16). Mood and sleep patterns were the main symptoms targeted by apps. Provision of mobile apps resource summary has the potential to foster pediatric palliative care providers’ knowledge of app functionality and applicability as part of ongoing patient care. View Full-Text
Keywords: technology; mobile applications; meditation; multimedia; children; palliative; relaxation; stress technology; mobile applications; meditation; multimedia; children; palliative; relaxation; stress
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weekly, T.; Walker, N.; Beck, J.; Akers, S.; Weaver, M. A Review of Apps for Calming, Relaxation, and Mindfulness Interventions for Pediatric Palliative Care Patients. Children 2018, 5, 16.

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