Table 3

Use of interactive techniques in interventions

Use of interactive techniques in interventionsExamples
Narratives, Storytelling and CharactersIntegrated into a CBT programme
  • Zippy’s Friends… interactive teaching methods including storytelling, discussion, modelling and role playing56

  • an audio-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) program for child anxiety disorders… Children begin by joining six fictitious anxious children in the Turnaround adventure and are educated on anxiety in an entertaining manner by these characters59

  • curriculum in social–emotional learning… Each curriculum unit focuses on a specific grade-appropriate children’s book and begins with a book reading and discussion, ensuring that students understand the primary themes of the story” 87

  • Muck Monster… a metaphor for negative self-talk72

  • A Cognitive–Behavioral Pain Management Program called “Stop the pain with Happy-Pingu58

  • Taming Sneaky Fears CBT Group Program manualized child treatment consisted of … stories, games, and activities designed specifically to teach cognitive-behavioral strategies27

  • trauma narratives conveyed through storybooks with pictures created by students, ‘courage cards’ tailored to each student, use of published children's books to introduce certain topics74

To impart knowledge and encourage behaviour change
  • nutrition education intervention aimed at increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables…A graphics package was developed using cartoon characters (The Bash Street Kids DC Thomson & Co. Ltd) which were used as a theme in the communication and promotional materials45

  • internet based oral hygiene intervention … key characters in the cartoons… developed superhuman powers by brushing their teeth… The Teeth Chiefs had a series of adventures with nasty germ-like monsters, called the ‘Plackos’, that rot children’s teeth. Design of the cartoons was guided by a set of behaviour change principles62

  • obesity prevention programme… characters with whom the children identify. Children work closely with the character most like them to help them to change their behaviours” 88

Characters as stand-alone interventions
  • “a pictorial story about going to the dentist on pain perception, situational anxiety and behavioral feedback during dental treatment” 73

  • The child could carry out a version of the treatment (s)he had just undergone on the glove puppet. The application of this behaviour management technique immediately after the dental visit was used to enable the child to become active and so reduce anxiety75

GamesReward-based games
  • star charts and … star pyramids to track their dietary intake and frequency of a variety of physical activities. Small rewards, such as stickers, were given for returning completed charts” 28

  • a three week chart, with the child’s name on it, to put up in the bathroom so their child could add a sticker each morning and evening when they brushed their teeth” and “a guide for parents on how to use rewards62

  • The Good Behaviour Game…The teacher posted basic classroom rules of student behaviour, and during a particular game period all teams received a reward if they accumulated four or fewer infractions of acceptable student behavior63

  • ‘‘Match Game… tokens would be given for an accurate self-evaluation… Tokens retained at the end of each session were exchanged for reward coupons which could in turn be exchanged for a daily group reward and a monthly individual home-based reward89

Games to Improve Health Knowledge
  • “‘Top Grubs’ a card game based on trumps with pictures of food, such that higher scoring (trumping) foods are the healthier ones” 90

  • “An oral health education interventions involving ‘contests on oral health knowledge’” 52

  • “’Quiz time’… Review knowledge, understandings, and skills developed throughout the program” 91

Group interactive activitiesGroup interventions used play, arts and game-based activities such as:
  • treasure hunts, material printing70

  • puppet play, competitive games71

  • map drawing and photographic techniques92 93

  • and other unspecified games55