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Id 2459
Author Dewhirst A.; Laugharne R.; Shankar R.
Title Therapeutic use of serious games in mental health: Scoping review

Dewhirst A.; Laugharne R.; Shankar R. Therapeutic use of serious games in mental health: Scoping review,BJPsych Open 8 2

Keywords adult; alcoholism; anxiety disorder; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; Belgium; bipolar disorder; child; data extraction; demographics; depression; Embase; follow up; France; game; human; Ireland; late life depression; major depression; Medline; mental disease; Netherlands; outcome assessment; Patient Health Questionnaire 9; Portugal; PsycINFO; quality control; Review; schizophrenia; serious game; Spain; systematic review; Turkey (republic); United States
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Abstract Background There has been an increase in the development and application of serious games to support management of mental ill health, but their full impact is unclear. Aims Evaluation of the current evidence of acceptability and effectiveness of serious games in improving mental health disorders. Method A PRISMA-guided scoping review was conducted, using a predefined criteria and a relevant word combination on three databases: EMBASE, Medline and PsycINFO. Each included study was examined for game format, study type, number of participants, basic demographics, disorder targeted, recruitment, setting, control conditions, duration and follow-up, study attrition, primary outcomes and their results. Each study was given a Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations rating for quality. Results Fourteen out of 513 studies met the inclusion criteria. The serious games focused on symptoms of anxiety (n = 4), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (n = 3), depression (n = 2), schizophrenia (n = 2), alcohol use disorder (n = 2) and bipolar disorder (n = 1). There were multiple significant outcomes favouring serious games across conditions covered in the review. Study quality varied, with studies rated high (n = 3), moderate (n = 6), low (n = 3) and very low (n = 2). Conclusions The available evidence suggests that serious games could be an effective format for an intervention to reduce mental health symptoms and improve outcomes of individuals. Better designed studies would further develop confidence in this area. This is a potential vehicle of change to deliver some of the much-needed psychiatric support to both economically developed and developing regions in a resource-utilitarian manner. Partnerships between the gaming industry, researchers and health services may benefit patients. Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.


DOI 10.1192/bjo.2022.4
Search Database Scopus
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