The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, Scotland, has received Diversionary Therapy Technologies’ (DTT) ditto™ device to lower anxiety in children prior to and during otherwise painful, traumatic procedures.

The handheld device was donated by the Sick Kids Friends Foundation and incorporates the latest research on using distraction and educational techniques to reduce stress.

The device, with an interactive touch screen, will include interactive games, stories and procedural preparation tools.

"We find the ditto very helpful for diversional therapy as the children pick up the ditto and are able to use it very quickly after a brief explanation," said Hilary Taylor, a staff nurse at the hospital. She added that children aged five to eight respond best to the games, while younger children use it with a parent, and enjoy the music, stories and procedural explanations.

Eight independent randomised clinical trials have proven the efficacy of ditto and its technology.

The Royal Hospital for Sick Children is a 266-bed hospital, also known as Sick Kids, which is part of NHS Lothian’s University Hospitals Division.

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The Sick Kids Friends Foundation was set up in 1992 to support the work of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.