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Id 2451
Author Arenas D.L.; Viduani A.; Araujo R.B.
Title Therapeutic Use of Role-Playing Game (RPG) in Mental Health: A Scoping Review

Arenas D.L.; Viduani A.; Araujo R.B. Therapeutic Use of Role-Playing Game (RPG) in Mental Health: A Scoping Review,Simulation and Gaming 53 3

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Abstract Background: Role-playing game (RPG) is a term that covers a series of forms and styles of games that involve, in some way, the creation, representation and progression of characters who interact in a fictional world under a system of structured rules. Its applications and effects on human behavior and mental health are, however, still an underexplored area. Methods: A scoping review was performed on the literature about RPGs as a therapeutic tool or prevention strategy in psychotherapies and mental health, highlighting studies’ populations, forms of RPG and interventions used. To that, a systematic search in the PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, BVS/LILACS databases and grey literature was performed. Results: Of the 4,069 studies reviewed, 50 sources of evidence were included. The majority was published as of 2011 (78%) in journals (62%) and targeted therapeutic uses of RPGs (84%). Most interventions used computer (50%) or tabletop RPGs (44%), mostly with cognitive and/or behavioral (52%) therapeutical approaches and targeting adolescents (70%). Conclusion: The findings suggest a potential use of RPGs as a complementary tool in psychotherapies. However, only 16% of the studies included were experimental. We identified considerable heterogeneity in RPGs definitions, outcomes and interventions used, preventing a systematic review. Thus, more empirical and well-designed studies on the application of RPGs in mental health are needed. © The Author(s) 2022.


DOI 10.1177/10468781211073720
Search Database Scopus
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