A psychologist has helped to create a new app which could change the psychological assessment of children.
David Glasgow, who works in an independent practice in Pendle, has been involved with the creation of the iPad app This Much!
The development team believes it will prove invaluable for paediatric nurses, paediatricians, child therapists, school counsellors, child and clinical psychologists and psychotherapists.
The app helps children who struggle with verbal expression to use visual tools to show how they are feeling.
One section includes asking children to use a smiley face to indicate on a scale how much pain they are in, from none at all to extreme pain.
Another asks youngsters to rate how worried they would feel during certain scenarios, such as when they go into a classroom or say goodbye to their mum at the school gates.
Mr Glasgow, who has over 30 years’ experience working with children and adults who have been victims of abuse and also offenders, said: “This Much! is a new twist on a very well established assessment procedure which is traditionally administered in paper and pencil format.
“This can be confusing or a rather intimidating for many children. Using a tablet makes the whole procedure much more engaging for the child and informative for the professional.
“The child can choose how to represent the experience or symptom and indicate a rating and then that response that can be quantified and explored in more detail.
“The app is good fun to use, so would be especially useful in children’s medicine, as children engage with it and become much more communicative.
“It helps to solve what has always been a big problem in the clinical setting, and makes evidence based practice more enjoyable and effective from both the perspective of children and professionals.”
Mr Glasgow said the app generates useful diagnotic information, using a combination of graphics, text, symbols and images (including photographs).
Feedback has shown younger children have demonstrated more confidence in expressing what they meant when using the app.
The app was developed by Child and Family Training, a not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting evidence-based assessments and interventions with children and families.