Research in Action: The ACHH App

The ACHH Initiative is committed to fully understanding the complexities of how Aboriginal children’s pain and hurt is expressed and treated, but our work doesn’t end there. We are also taking steps to find better ways to help clinicians  support children in conveying their hurt — now.. An important piece of this puzzle is incorporating traditional, Indigenous ways of healing and self-management.  Addressing this issue from multiple perspectives is crucial to finding long-lasting solutions.

The ACHH Initiative is using research to change and inform…

Aboriginal child participants told us that pain assessment processes used in hospitals and clinics do not resonate with them.  Instead they prefer to communicate their pain through storytelling. Based on this finding we began the development of a more interactive way to measure pain that will be easier and more culturally-relevant for Aboriginal children to use in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.

The ACHH App will allow children to articulate their pain and hurt through stories and descriptions, while remaining stoic in their pain expression. The app is not meant to diagnosis pain but rather enhance the two-way flow of communication from patient and family to clinicians.

The ACHH app started its development in 2014 with a physical pain component.  Since this time however, our participants have told us that emotional pain is equally as important so we’re now in the process of completing testing to add in this component as well.  Stay tuned in early 2018 to see our first beta version of the ACHH App!