Can videogames improve health outcomes in children?
New Rochelle, NY, March 30, 2016–The videogames for health (G4H) field is pursuing innovative, potentially highly effective methods for changing behaviors and affecting health outcomes in children, but more research, defined guidelines and targeted funding are needed to drive game design, determine optimal use, and minimize possible adverse effects, according to a white paper published in Games for Health Journal: Research Development, and Clinical Applications, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.. The article is available free for download on the Games for Health Journal website until April 30, 2016.
A team of leading games for health researchers representing the Institute of Digital Media and Child Development Working Group on Games for Health, with lead author Tom Baranowski, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Games for Health Journal, from USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, and Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, collaborated on the white paper entitled "Games for Health for Children–Current Status and Needed Research".
The authors review what is currently known about G4H, including game design and how they can target specific behaviors and health-related factors such as games intended to reduce anxiety before surgery, to promote physical activity, or to educate about health. They also examine the implications of using G4H for child development. The article emphasizes the need to overcome cost and technology barriers that could impede access to G4H, and proposes the need for guidelines for children, parents, educators, clinicians, policymakers, and technologists related to factors such as screen time and game development.
"The available evidence reveals that Games for Health are very promising to prevent and treat obesity, reduce stress, prevent smoking, and contribute to many positive health outcomes among children. This White Paper offers a road map for the activities that need to occur to achieve that potential," says Dr. Baranowski.
About the Journal
Games for Health Journal breaks new ground as the first journal to address this emerging and increasingly important area of health care. The Journal provides a bimonthly forum in print and online for academic and clinical researchers, game designers and developers, health care providers, insurers, and information technology leaders. Articles explore the use of game technology in a variety of clinical applications. These include disease prevention and monitoring, nutrition, weight management, and medication adherence. Gaming can play an important role in the care of patients with diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and cognitive, mental, emotional, and behavioral health disorders.
About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and Telemedicine and e-Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available online at the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. website.