Asthma Games and Getting Control

Turn Your Child's Web Surfing Into an Educational Experience

Teenager laying on the floor playing on a tablet

How much time does your child spend on the Internet? With Internet Gaming Disorder becoming an increasing concern and many children exceeding the maximum 2 hour of screen time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, why not try and turn some of that screen time into an educational experience for your child's asthma?

With children spending more and more time online at younger and younger ages, many developers are trying to gameify a number of chronic diseases like asthma. The Quest for the Code is an online asthma game produced by the Starlight Children's Foundation that incorporates an engaging story while promoting asthma knowledge. Cuba Gooding Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Kelsey Grammer, Gwyneth Paltrow, Glenn Close, Shaquille O’Neal, and General H. Norman Schwarzkopf have all contributed to this engaging story to help kids learn how to manage their asthma.

Quest for the Code teaches kids and teens about:

Study: Efficacy of Quest for the Code

According to a press release from the Starlight Foundation, a team of researchers from the University of Miami School of Medicine, led by Alan Delamater, PhD, conducted a study designed to investigate whether use of Quest for the Code could help families improve illness management, quality of life, asthma self-efficacy, and asthma knowledge.

The study targeted children ages 8 to 12 from ethnic minority backgrounds (African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Hispanic/Latino) with moderate to severe asthma. The game focuses on asthma management and avoidance of asthma triggers.

Results showed significant improvements in child-reported asthma self-efficacy and quality of life at one month, and improvements in self-efficacy, responsibilities, and knowledge at three months. Parents reported improved asthma symptoms at one month, and increased child responsibilities, knowledge, medication-taking, and child avoidance of triggers at three months. The 6-month assessment showed sustained improvements in self-efficacy, adherence, knowledge, child responsibilities, and symptoms. Consumer satisfaction ratings from both children and parents were very high.

The press release also quotes school nurse Charla Dunham who hosts an asthma group every other week for children with asthma and uses Quest for the Code to teach her children about their illness: “Quest for the Code has helped keep two frequently hospitalized children from my school out of the hospital. One student missed a large portion of the school year last year, but since we have introduced him to the game, his medical care has improved, and he has not been hospitalized since."


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Article Sources
  • Skoglund, Nataliya Venger, "An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of an Educational Intervention on the Severity of Pediatric Asthma" (2007). Electronic Theses, Treatises and Dissertations. Paper 1686.
  • Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation Brings Asthma Game, 'Quest for the Code®,' Online.