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Kelly van Bindsbergen

PhD Student
Kelly van Bindsbergen
Improving childhood cancer care when parents cannot be there: Reducing medical traumatic stress in childhood cancer patient by bonding with a robot companion




Children treated for cancer in a hospital often experience high levels of stress and anxiety. Not only are they faced with a life-threatening disease, they also find themselves in a strange environment, surrounded by doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. Moreover, during various types of treatment, close family may not be in close proximity, for example due to exposure risks in case of radiation treatment, or simply because parents cannot always be present. Therefore, this project will provide children with a humanoid robot companion that is capable of being there when humans cannot and that can address a child’s distress, pain and fear to minimize medical traumatic stress. This is of key importance, for example to ensure successful, uneventful treatment, to lower risks associated with involving relatives and clinicians (e.g., radiation exposure), and to reduce significant adverse psychological reactions (e.g., posttraumatic stress).

Kelly's project is in collaboration with the TU Delft and the CWI.