Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 27, Issue 12, pp 4479–4485 | Cite as

Acceptability and feasibility of a therapeutic board game for children and adolescents with cancer: the Italian version of Shop Talk

  • Alessandra Bettini
  • Elena Amore
  • Laura VagnoliEmail author
  • Francesca Maffei
  • Rosanna Martin
Original Article



Shop Talk is a therapeutic board game for children and adolescents with cancer, aimed at helping them talk about their disease, life, and emotions in a creative way and in a secure setting. The scope of this study was to translate Shop Talk into Italian, evaluating its acceptability, feasibility, and emotional impact.


The game board, question cards, and game instructions were translated into Italian from the original English–Spanish version. A sample of 30 pediatric patients aged 7–18 with cancer were enrolled and assigned to one of the following play settings: individual setting, caregiver setting, group setting. The patients’ affectivity was assessed before (T0) and after (T1) the game session using PANAS-C. Acceptability and feasibility were assessed at T1 using a specifically designed questionnaire.


The patients’ acceptability and feasibility perception scores were high. Statistical analyses showed a significant decrease of the negative affect and a significant increase of the positive affect in patients.


The results suggest that the patients involved appreciated the game and its content, purpose, and use. In addition, the game session with Shop Talk had a positive impact on the players’ affectivity. Therefore, Shop Talk can be considered a useful tool for psychologists working with pediatric cancer patients in Italy.


Pediatric cancer Psychosocial adjustment Pediatric psychology Therapeutic game Psychological intervention 



Our thanks go to Dr. Lori Wiener who gave us the opportunity to use the original version of Shop Talk, supported the development of the Italian version, and encouraged this research.

Furthermore, we sincerely thank the Meyer Children’s Hospital Foundation which funded the material creation of the Italian version of Shop Talk based on these results.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All the procedures in the studies involving human participants were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and subsequent amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the individual participants enrolled in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric PsychologyMeyer Children’s HospitalFlorenceItaly

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