Standout Studies of Health Games, presentation at Games for Health Conference, 6-28-13


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Here are some recent noteworthy studies of health games. They are grouped by topic area and included are many of my tweets about research on health games.

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Standout Studies of Health Games, presentation at Games for Health Conference, 6-28-13

  1. 1. Research on Games for Health: Trends, Innovations, and Standout Studies Debra Lieberman, Ph.D. Health Games Research, UC Santa Barbara Presentation at Games for Health Conference Boston, June 28, 2013
  2. 2. Introduction: Debra Lieberman, Ph.D.  Media researcher, and faculty member  University of California, Santa Barbara  Alzheimer’s Association / Intel grant on cognitive health  Director, Health Games Research  National program funded by the Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation  Works to advance the research, design, and effectiveness of health games  
  3. 3. Where are the shining examples in our field?  Innovative games  Rigorous research methods  Significant effects on health or health care  The best our field has to offer  I gathered recommendations and selected studies that I have read that impressed me  Not a systematic, thorough search – Big field
  4. 4. Literature reviews of health game randomized controlled trials (RCTs)  (Various time periods, search methods, inclusion criteria)  Baranowski et al., 2008 (27 RCTs)  Kharrazi et al., 2012 (149 RCTs)  Primack et al., 2012 (38 RCTs)  Rahmani & Boren, 2012 (45 RCTs)  Hieftje et al. 2013 (electronic media for children, 19 RCTs)  Larsen et al., 2013 (physical effects of exergames on healthy elderly, 7 RCTs)  Lu et al., 2013 (childhood obesity, 14 RCTs)
  5. 5. Federal agencies and games  Plague Inc. mobile game asks players to save humanity. CDC will appear in-game with news and new game challenges  Many more calls for proposals in NIH, NSF, CDC involving health games
  6. 6. Health plans and insurers
  7. 7. Game contests and prizes  Future of Health Awards, from Games for Health Europe  5 nominees and one winner each year  RWJF
  8. 8. Prevention  POX, Save the People  Kognito games use avatars to help people identify and respond to emotional and mental health problems
  9. 9. Safe sex and AIDS prevention  SOLVE-IT is a 3D animated game with intelligent agents/technologies for changing sexually risky behavior for young MSM that was tested with an RCT nationally over the web with a fairly large sample. Study is in progress. (Lynn Miller)  iPad game for at-risk teens aims to prevent HIV transmission -- Designed at Yale School of Medicine (Lynn Fiellin)
  10. 10. Disease self-management
  11. 11. Games for medical treatment and health care
  12. 12. Treatment, pain management, anxiety reduction  Snow World (pain distraction)  iPad games and apps distract children and reduce their anxiety before surgery
  13. 13. Emotional health
  14. 14. Treatment for autism, special needs
  15. 15. Melissa DeRosier: CEO and Founder of C-3 Institute for Social Developent Social-emotional skill-building games Zoo U: social skills tutoring based on criterion-based mastery model Adventures Aboard the S.S.GRIN: builds social emotional skills through exploration and problem- solving in a virtual story world Stories in Motion: visual narrative enables users to visualize successful social paths through difficult social challenges
  16. 16. Evaluation of Zoo U  Correlations between in-game social skills assessments and independently obtained standard psychological assessments of the same students and  High levels of engagement and likeability among students
  17. 17. Virtual worlds, virtual reality  Virtual weight management in Second Life improves actual weight loss and maintenance Study:  Using Virtual Reality to Identify Actual Disorders from Skip Rizzo's lab at USC, to train therapists
  18. 18. Cognitive games  ESCoNS Conference findings – Adam Gazzaley  Sharp Brains – Fernando Alvarez  Studies of cognitive improvement with video games by Daphne Bauvelier  Randomized controlled trials from Lumosity, Dakim, and others
  19. 19. Dakim Brain Fitness  UCLA researchers found that older adults who regularly used a brain fitness program played on a computer demonstrated significantly improved memory (immediate and delayed) and language skills, and stronger attention, focus, and concentration  Played three times a week for 20 minutes, on average, for six months
  20. 20. Avatar research for health  Research finds that avatar experiences can lead to behavior change by showing cause and effect:  Avatar eats too much food and becomes fat, then user eats less in real life  User runs in place while watching their avatar run and become thinner…Stop running and avatar becomes fatter…leads to more exercise in real life  When you avatar ages, you take care of older “you”
  21. 21. Active games
  22. 22. Kinect motion sensing for diagnosis and therapy, and telerehabilitation  Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST) (Suma, Lange, Rizzo & Bolas) enables use of Kinect  Jewel Mine, Mystic Isle, case studies show positive results, other research in progress  Features, videos of the new Kinect: More articles listed here:  High-end sensors in Kinect technology may revolutionize personal health and tele-health. Some exciting predictions:  Telerehabilitation: 7 products use Kinect to provide physical therapy online & monitor/save progress. Video demos:
  23. 23. Kinect for pain diagnosis and treatment
  24. 24. Sensors, self-tracking in games
  25. 25. Thank you! Debra Lieberman, Ph.D. Director, Health Games Research National Program University of California, Santa Barbara Twitter: @GamesResearch Twitter: @DebLieberman Health Games Research Database