Published: 23.05.2017, updated: 05.01.2018
The project’s aim is to develop a mobile game and evaluate whether social nudging through gamification can boost attendance to cervical cancer screening.
The project started in April 2015 and the app was launched second quarter of 2017.
Cervical cancer can to a large extend be prevented through vaccination and by attending regular cervical cancer screening. However, many women do not attend regular screening and the general knowledge about the main cause for this cancer, the human papillomavirus (HPV), is quite low in the population.
By creating the mobile game 'FightHPV' we strive to help people understand what HPV is, what it is capable of, and how to prevent it.
Use your phone to fight back for your health
The mobile application FightHPV is an educational game developed to provide information about main topics related to HPV. FightHPV consists of six episodes of ten levels each. Each episode describe one aspect related to HPV.
Episode 1 focus on epithelial cells, -the only cell type in your body that the virus are able to infect, while episodes 2 and 3 focus on low, - and high risk HPV, respectively. The final three episodes 4, 5 and 6, sheds light on prevention, vaccination and screening.
Each level starts with a short info text before the player commence to solve an increasingly more complex puzzle. Standard gamification elements such as achievements and leader board are included to increase user engagement.
FightHPV encourage the player to share lessons learned from the game by spreading the word about HPV and nudge other people to learn more about the virus.
Easy access and nudging facilitate reaching the main target group of women that should attend cervical cancer screening, i.e. women from 25 to 69 years of age.
FightHPV includes an option for Norwegian residents to enrol in the research study. Intent candidates should make use of the in-game alternative to enrol through a secure website.
A control group to the enrolled women will consist of comparable women that have never played FightHPV.
Since its worldwide release in April 2017, FightHPV has been downloaded more than 10.000 times in 47 different countries around the world. Norway, China and USA are the countries with most downloads.
To determine its usefulness as a health communication tool that can increase attendance to screening, we continue to promote it and to encourage users to participate in our research study. At the same time, we are also continuously working on enhancements to the game and user experience, so that it is approachable to most people.
Cancer Registry of Norway
Tomás Ruiz-Lopez, Giske Ursin, Ameli Tropé, Jan Nygård, Suzanne Campbell, Kristina Schee, Ragnhild Flingtorp, Elisabeth Jakobsen, Maarit Leinonen and Mari Nygård
Previous employees at the Cancer Registry of Norway: Sagar Sen, Inger Louise Bones.
The project is financed by Nordic Information for Action eScience Centre (NIASC).