Medical Play Therapy: Development of the JUNIOR-MRI Role Play

  • Diego PadernoEmail author
  • Edoardo Alessio Piana
  • Ileana Bodini
  • Valerio Villa
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


The purpose of this work is to help the little patients of the Paediatric Onco-Haematology Department of the “Monica and Luca Folonari” bone-marrow Transplant Centre to tackle their anxiety and worries when subjected to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) clinical examinations, in order to reduce the period of time between the arrival of a patient in the Diagnostics Department and the actual exam execution. To do so, following the principles of the Medical Play Therapy, a user-centred role play called JUNIOR-MRI has been developed. The game is addressed at children between the ages of 5 and 10 and consists of a scaled model of a real MRI machine, with a gurney, a patient doll and a control station. A tablet application has also been developed to simulate the procedure of the clinic exam, reproduce the real sounds of a MRI through a loudspeaker placed on the scale MRI and show some fake images of the investigation carried out on the doll. The child plays the role of the doctor, getting acquainted with the exam procedure and instrumentation and learning not to fear the clinic exam. The experimental phase of the game has begun, and the JUNIOR-MRI is now used in the Pediatric Diagnostics Department of the Spedali Civili di Brescia, following an ad-hoc clinic protocol.


Medical Play Therapy Role play User-centred design Design methods 



The research work reported here was made possible by Gilead Italia, through the Community Award Program.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of BresciaBresciaItaly

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