Game Boy Helps Reduce Anxiety in Children Before Surgery, Study Says

Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey performed a small study indicating that pre-surgery anxiety in children between four and 12 years old was reduced when they were given a Game Boy to entertain themselves. The study results will be presented by Dr. Anuradha Patel at a meeting of the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists in New York City on Saturday.

The study involved 78 children who were divided into three groups. Each child in one of the groups was given a Game Boy 30 minutes before they received general anesthesia. The other groups got to use other, more traditional anxiety coping mechanisms. According to Dr. Henry L. Bennett, a member of the study team:

{The} study showed that the most dramatic difference in anxiety was observed in the group that had the Game Boy right up until the anesthesia took effect.

Dr. Patel got the idea for the study from observing the 7-year old child of a friend who focused intently on the Game Boy whenever he played with it. [ via Kaisa's Blog ]