SDG3 target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
Where: Australia (Isobar Good)
Recovering child cancer sufferers and their families have enormous gratitude to the medical staff who have treated them. But the return home from intensive treatment can be one of the most challenging times in the family’s whole cancer experience. Many parents and carers talk about feeling isolated and anxious without the supportive environment of the hospital, and young patients have trauma and upset to deal with. The removal of the emotional and practical support found daily in hospitals is a shock; one for which parents, siblings and carers are not prepared.
Australian children’s cancer charity Camp Quality wanted our help in developing an easy-to-use supportive guide to highlight the information families need to know, such as where to find the relevant support services and aftercare needed during this difficult time and advice for different stages of cancer recovery.
Through Isobar Good, Isobar’s social impact initiative we developed together with Camp Quality an app called the New Normal Navigator, a tool to help ready families for the stages of their ‘new normal’ life post-hospital. We worked with Camp Quality to explore in great depth the challenges a family faces via research and interviews to make sure the Navigator was useful and relevant. We ensured that parents and carers were involved at every stage of development of the app, including providing feedback through the testing phase.
The New Normal Navigator connects families to appropriate support services and is packed with tips from those who have lived through a similar experience. It contains useful articles, fun therapy ideas and inspirational material – and has the capability to personalise content to an individual family’s needs.
By collaborating with others who had been through the same cancer journey – and were more than willing to help – we ensured we had relevant and useful material for the app. There were 350 downloads of the app and each active device recorded 1.8 weekly average sessions, showing the tool was helpful to families under stress in a number of ways.
As one mum said of the New Normal Navigator: “It’s not about the medical stuff, it’s about how you cope as a family; how to feel better supported. It makes you realise what services are available and then helps you get realistic and ask for the support you need.”
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