Table 1

iPad contents

ContentShort description
MyCare appPatients can view (online supplemental figure 1):
Daily schedule and medication list.
Laboratory investigation results.
Healthcare team composition.
Patient educational material*.
Patients can submit:
Questions or requests to healthcare team.
Requests for food, medication, amenities, room cleaning and toileting assistance.
Patient feedback form*.
GamesPreloaded games.
Curated materials with medical humanities content in response to COVID-19
Contents page†Introduction and tips on iPad use.
Notes from healthcare† staffA calming note from SGH CEO to explain the reason for patients’ isolation while reassuring patients’ full access to care.
Electronic card†E-card with encouraging messages gathered from various named healthcare professionals involved in caring for these patients.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) sheet†FAQs were developed in consultation with an infectious disease specialist, with nurses and medical social workers’ input to address social concerns related to sudden and unplanned hospitalisation, payment for treatment, being in isolation ward and subsequent discharge from hospital following a potentially stigmatising infection.
The compiled FAQ sheets were later divided into two segments: one which addressed clinical issues and the science behind COVID-19, and another that addressed the financial and psychosocial concerns. The latter was vetted by our Corporate Communications office, which worked closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure information accuracy and consistency with the latest national or institutional policies.
The answers to FAQs were kept informative and yet generic, in view of frequent emergence of new information and policy changes pertaining to COVID-19. The FAQs were originally developed in English before they were translated into Chinese. This was in response to the presenting ethnicity and language needs of the admitted patients at the time, with plans for other translations, if necessitated.
Coping with your stay in isolationOur psychologists created the following under the heading ‘Looking after Your Well-being’:
Looking after your well-being: normalising emotions.
Navigating through challenging times (infographics)†.
Six ways to cope†.
Coping skills.
Relaxation exercises.
Sleep hygiene.
Emotional first aid.
Separately, to help patients cope with their time in isolation, the Medical Humanities team curated ‘Keeping Yourself Constructively Occupied’, a series of materials and activities, that included:
Instructions on creative digital artmaking.
e-books, which consisted of appropriate fiction and uplifting illustrated storybooks.
Uplifting or inspirational artwork (online supplemental figure 2).
Colouring activity‡, as a journal of personal exploration (designed by our art therapists in Psychology Department).
Journaling‡, with explanation of its therapeutic benefits and instructions on how to journal, with provision of online resources.
Video clips of interviews with healthcare professionals who had been infected with and survived SARSThe interviews touched on their emotional and psychological experiences when undergoing treatment for a novel infectious disease in isolation.
Compilation of quotes extracted from the interviews was presented in visual forms‡ as easy-to-access resource.
Accessing counselling support†Instructions for appointment booking with a psychologist or medical social worker for individual counselling, or signing up with a peer support group to connect with other patients in isolation ward through teleconferencing.
Cards from well wishersScanned copies of cards from caring members of the public who hand-delivered or mailed their words of comfort for patients with COVID-19 and HCWs.
  • *In addition to pre-existing function and contents, materials specifically added in response to COVID-19 needs.

  • †These materials were also available in hard copy.

  • ‡An art therapy package, in the form of a printed activity book with instructions-directed colouring and colouring materials, was provided to accompany the prompt for this activity in the app.

  • CEO, chief executive officer; HCW, healthcare worker; SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome; SGH, Singapore General Hospital.