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Games for Health

Erika M Barbero, Diane M Carpenter, Joetta Maier, Daniel S Tseng
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to quantify the health risks and benefits of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game played on the mobile phone utilizing real-world locations. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Healthcare encounters containing references to Pokémon Go in Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC) from July 5, 2016 to November 5, 2016 were reviewed. Subjects were classified according to the nature of the healthcare encounter subsequent to playing Pokémon Go: adverse event/injury, self-reported benefit, or incidental mention...
April 30, 2018: Games for Health
Huynh Van Nguyen, Han-Chung Huang, May-Kuen Wong, Ya-Hui Yang, Tzu-Ling Huang, Ching-I Teng
OBJECTIVE: The literature on exergames has examined their impact on user-perceived psychological health (i.e., user-perceived happiness), but little is known about whether such an impact depends on user characteristics. Therefore, this study used the perspective of social cognitive theory (SCT) to identify potential moderators (i.e., whether the user is optimistic or attempting to control his or her weight) of the impact of playing exergames on user-perceived happiness. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This large-scale randomized controlled trial recruited 337 college students (of whom 57...
April 30, 2018: Games for Health
Nicholas D Myers, Samantha Dietz, Isaac Prilleltensky, Ora Prilleltensky, Adam McMahon, Carolyn L Rubenstein, Seungmin Lee
OBJECTIVE: Fun For Wellness (FFW) is a new online intervention designed to promote growth in well-being by providing capability-enhancing learning opportunities (e.g., play an interactive game) to participants. The purpose of this study was to provide an initial evaluation of the efficacy of the FFW intervention to increase well-being actions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study design was a secondary data analysis of a large-scale prospective, double-blind, parallel-group randomized controlled trial...
April 30, 2018: Games for Health
Ryan E Rhodes, Nnenna Nwachukwu, Alison Quinlan
OBJECTIVES: The family home is an important environment for reducing sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity (PA). Exergames are gaining attention as a possible modality for increasing energy expenditure within the home setting. The purpose of this study was to explore the use, correlates, and preferences of family exergaming. METHODS: An online survey of exergame preferences, social cognition (theory of planned behavior), and behaviors that parents perceive as displaced during exergaming was conducted among a representative sample of 483 Canadian parents with a child between the ages of 6 and 14 years of age who own a videogame platform in their family home...
April 24, 2018: Games for Health
Thomas Matheve, Guido Claes, Enzo Olivieri, Annick Timmermans
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the feasibility of a functional exercise program supported by serious gaming for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain (LBP). METHODS: Ten patients with chronic nonspecific LBP and an underlying motor control impairment were recruited. Subjects performed a partially supervised exercise program (36 sessions, 18 weeks) that included 30 minutes of general conditioning and 90 minutes of individually tailored functional motor control exercises (MCEs)...
April 24, 2018: Games for Health
Marc Ashley Harris
OBJECTIVE: There is a plethora of published research reporting the wealth and breadth of biopsychosocial benefits of physical activity; however, a recent Cochrane systematic review concluded insufficient evidence for current population level physical activity interventions, citing scalability as a major contributory factor, with many of the interventions failing to reach a substantial proportion of the community. The current study aimed to conduct a pilot evaluation of a technology-enabled, gamification-based intervention called Beat the Street and sought to examine the impact of the Beat the Street intervention on self-reported physical activity...
April 19, 2018: Games for Health
Roel C J Hermans, Nina van den Broek, Chantal Nederkoorn, Roy Otten, Emilie L M Ruiter, Mina C Johnson-Glenberg
OBJECTIVE: Serious games are a promising venue to increase children's nutritional knowledge in an entertaining format. The aim of this study was to test the short-term effectiveness of the Alien Health Game, a videogame designed to teach elementary school children about nutrition and healthy food choices. MATERIALS AND METHODS: To examine the effects of the Alien Health Game, an experimental design with a single between-subjects factor (experimental condition vs...
April 10, 2018: Games for Health
Thais Massetti, Francis Meire Fávero, Lilian Del Ciello de Menezes, Mayra Priscila Boscolo Alvarez, Tânia Brusque Crocetta, Regiani Guarnieri, Fátima L S Nunes, Carlos Bandeira de Mello Monteiro, Talita Dias da Silva
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) practicing a task in a virtual environment could improve performance given a similar task in a real environment, as well as distinguishing whether there is transference between performing the practice in virtual environment and then a real environment and vice versa. METHODS: Twenty-two people with DMD were evaluated and divided into two groups. The goal was to reach out and touch a red cube...
April 2, 2018: Games for Health
Bulmaro A Valdés, Stephanie M N Glegg, Navid Lambert-Shirzad, Andrea N Schneider, Jonathan Marr, Renee Bernard, Keith Lohse, Alison M Hoens, H F Machiel Van der Loos
OBJECTIVE: To identify the factors that influence the use of an at-home virtual rehabilitation gaming system from the perspective of therapists, engineers, and adults and adolescents with hemiparesis secondary to stroke, brain injury, and cerebral palsy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study reports on qualitative findings from a study, involving seven adults (two female; mean age: 65 ± 8 years) and three adolescents (one female; mean age: 15 ± 2 years) with hemiparesis, evaluating the feasibility and clinical effectiveness of a home-based custom-designed virtual rehabilitation system over 2 months...
March 22, 2018: Games for Health
Cornelieke S H Aarnoudse-Moens, E Sabrina Twilhaar, Jaap Oosterlaan, Heske G van Veen, Pier J M Prins, Anton H L C van Kaam, Aleid G van Wassenaer-Leemhuis
OBJECTIVE: Attention problems are one of the most pronounced and documented consequences of very preterm birth (gestational age ≤32 weeks). However, up to now, there is no research published on suitable interventions at school age aimed to overcome these problems. Research in this population did show that executive functions (EFs) are strongly associated with inattention. BrainGame Brian is a newly developed computerized training, in which, in 25 training sessions, the core EFs, including working memory, impulse control, and cognitive flexibility, are trained...
March 13, 2018: Games for Health
Daniela Villani, Claudia Carissoli, Stefano Triberti, Antonella Marchetti, Gabriella Gilli, Giuseppe Riva
INTRODUCTION: Emotion regulation (ER) supports multiple individual functions and promotes mental health and wellbeing. Among the tools that may be used to help people in managing their affective states, videogames are reaching attention and are showing positive effects. Yet, little is known about their effectiveness. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the amount and quality of studies investigating the effects and modalities of the use of videogames for ER. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic literature search according to PRISMA guidelines was performed...
April 2018: Games for Health
Deborah I Thompson, Dora Cantu, Chishinga Callender, Yan Liu, Mayur Rajendran, Madhur Rajendran, Yuting Zhang, Zhigang Deng
OBJECTIVE: Exergames played with a photorealistic avatar may enhance motivation to play, in addition to frequency, duration, and intensity of game-play. This article reports the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of an exergame played with a photorealistic avatar on physical activity (PA) intensity in a laboratory-based study. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Teens (12-14 years old) were recruited from a large, metropolitan area of the southwestern United States. Parents provided written informed consent...
April 2018: Games for Health
Brooke M Bell, Lauren Martinez, Marientina Gotsis, H Chad Lane, Jaimie N Davis, Luz Antunez-Castillo, Gisele Ragusa, Donna Spruijt-Metz
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of the Virtual Sprouts intervention, an interactive multiplatform mobile gardening game, on dietary intake and psychosocial determinants of dietary behavior in minority youth. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this quasi-experimental pilot intervention, 180 third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students in Los Angeles Unified School District participated in a 3-week program that included three Virtual Sprouts gaming sessions, three in-school lessons, and three in-home activities, using a nutrition- and gardening-focused curriculum...
April 2018: Games for Health
Lizzy Pope, Bernice Garnett, Marguerite Dibble
OBJECTIVE: To encourage high school students to meet physical activity goals using a newly developed game, and to document the feasibility, benefits, and challenges of using an electronic gaming application to promote physical activity in high school students. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Working with youth and game designers an electronic game, Camp Conquer, was developed to motivate high school students to meet physical activity goals. One-hundred-five high school students were recruited to participate in a 12-week pilot test of the game and randomly assigned to a Game Condition or Control Condition...
April 2018: Games for Health
Marisa M Putnam, Elana M Richmond, Kaitlin L Brunick, Charlotte A Wright, Sandra L Calvert
OBJECTIVE: Childhood obesity is a health issue in the United States, associated with marketing practices in which media characters are often used to sell unhealthy products. This study examined exposure to a socially contingent touch-screen gaming app, which replied immediately, reliably, and accurately to children's actions. Children's recall of nutritional content and their liking of the character were assessed. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four- and five-year-old children (N = 114) received no-exposure, single-exposure, or repeated-exposure to a character-based iPad app rewarding healthy and penalizing unhealthy behaviors...
April 2018: Games for Health
Kristin L Schneider, Jocelyn Smith Carter, Cynthia Putnam, Jacey Keeney, Draycen D DeCator, Daniel Kern, Laura Aylward
OBJECTIVES: Active videogames (AVGs) could provide a novel approach to increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary activity in children, but little is known about which children are likely to use AVGs. This study examined whether youth demographics, social support, and AVG engagement influence use of AVGs and physical activity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A diverse sample of youth participants (42.4% non-Hispanic white), aged 8-14 years (n = 85), who owned an AVG console, completed surveys, wore an activity monitor, and logged AVG use for 1 week...
April 2018: Games for Health
Marisa M Putnam, Caroline E Cotto, Sandra L Calvert
OBJECTIVE: Media characters are used to market snacks that are typically of poor nutritional value, which has been linked to childhood obesity. This study examines whether children's snack selections and consumption patterns are influenced by an app depicting a popular children's media character, as well as the role that children's awareness of the character plays. The results can increase our understanding of how to encourage healthier snack selection and consumption in newer game-based marketing venues, such as apps...
April 2018: Games for Health
Christopher N Burrows, Hart Blanton
OBJECTIVE: Prior research has demonstrated that psychological immersion (or "transportation") into virtual gaming worlds can heighten influence from health-promotion messages embedded in the backgrounds of gaming scenes. However, research to date has only studied the effectiveness of embedding graphic, fear-based messages in the background of violent, first-person videogames. This study sought to examine whether transportation into a nonviolent videogame can heighten persuasion from low-fear, nongraphic health messages...
February 8, 2018: Games for Health
Ainara Garde, Manil Chowdhury, Aryannah U Rollinson, Mika Johnson, Paul Prescod, Jean Pierre Chanoine, John Mark Ansermino, Guy A Dumont
BACKGROUND: Exergaming is potentially useful to promote physical activity in children; however, long-term effectiveness is unclear. MobileKids Monster Manor (MKMM) is a mobile exergame developed with the help of young advisors. The game wirelessly transmits physical activity data from an accelerometer to a mobile device. Players' steps are redeemed for in-game rewards, for example, new characters. OBJECTIVE: First, to evaluate whether increased physical activity previously observed in a 1-week intervention is sustained over a 2-week intervention and 1-week follow-up, and second, to compare impact in schools within different socioeconomic environments...
February 2018: Games for Health
Courtney Ryan, Hafza Dadabhoy, Tom Baranowski
OBJECTIVE: The most productive methods of recruitment for a videogame for health (G4H) trial are not known. Success or failure of recruitment methods has been reported for a variety of clinical trials, but few specifically for G4H trials. This study's goal was to recruit 444 overweight or obese (body mass index percentile between the 84.5th-99.4th percentiles) children between the ages of 10-12 years. The article reports the results of different methods of participant recruitment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Participants had to agree to three fasting blood samples (baseline, immediately after, and 2 months later); be willing to wear an accelerometer for 7 days at each assessment; read and speak English fluently (because the games were in English); have no history of any condition that would affect what he/she could eat or how much physical activity he/she could get; and have an eligible home computer purchased in the last 5 years with high-speed internet...
February 2018: Games for Health
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