“Gamifying psychological interventions successfully could revolutionize how we treat mental illness and how we view our own mental health.”
Playing a science-based mobile gaming app for 25 minutes can reduce anxiety in stressed individuals, according to research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
The study suggests that “gamifying” a scientifically-supported intervention could offer measurable mental health and behavioral benefits for people with relatively high levels of anxiety.
“Millions of people suffering from psychological distress fail to seek or receive mental health services. A key factor here is that many evidence-based treatments are burdensome — time consuming, expensive, difficult to access, and perceived as stigmatizing,” says lead researcher Tracy Dennis of Hunter College.
“Given this concerning disparity between need and accessibility of services, it is crucial for psychological researchers to develop alternative treatment delivery systems that are more affordable, accessible, and engaging.”
That’s where the mobile app comes in.
The game is based on an emerging cognitive treatment for anxiety called attention-bias modification training (ABMT). Essentially, this treatment involves training patients to ignore a threatening stimulus (such as an angry face) and to focus instead on a non-threatening stimulus (such as a neutral or happy face). This type of training has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress among people suffering from high anxiety.
In the study, about 75 participants — who all scored relatively high on an anxiety survey — were required to follow two characters around on the screen, tracing their paths as quickly and accurately as possible.
After playing the game for either 25 or 45 minutes, the participants were asked to give a short speech to the researchers while being recorded on video — an especially stressful situation for these participants.
The videos revealed that participants who played the ABMT-based version of the game showed less nervous behavior and speech during their talk and reported less negative feelings afterward than those in the placebo group.
“Even the ‘short dosage’ of the app — about 25 minutes — had potent effects on anxiety and stress measured in the lab,” explains Dennis, who co-authored the study with Laura O’Toole of The City University of New York. “This is good news in terms of the potential to translate these technologies into mobile app format because use of apps tends to be brief and ‘on the go.’”
The researchers are currently investigating whether even shorter stints of play – similar to how we normally play other smartphone games — would have the same anxiety-reducing effect.
“We’re examining whether use of the app in brief 10-minute sessions over the course of a month successfully reduces stress and promotes positive birth outcomes in moderately anxious pregnant women,” Dennis says.
While it’s unclear whether this app would produce mental health benefits in those with clinically-diagnosed anxiety, it does present a compelling case for gamified ABMT acting as a “cognitive vaccine” against anxiety and stress. The researchers believe that apps could eventually be developed to assist in the treatment for other mental health disorders, such as depression or addiction.
“Gamifying psychological interventions successfully could revolutionize how we treat mental illness and how we view our own mental health. Our hope is to develop highly accessible and engaging evidence-based mobile intervention strategies that can be used in conjunction with traditional therapy or that can be ‘self-curated’ by the individual as personal tools to promote mental wellness,” Dennis concludes.
The Latest on: Gamifying psychological interventions
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Gamifying psychological interventions” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Gamifying psychological interventions
- Clive police add crisis intervention officeron January 13, 2023 at 4:13 pm
IT NOW HAS A CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM. THE FIRST MEMBER IS OFFICER KELLY RECCHIA. SHE IS CURRENTLY WORKING WITH SPECIALISTS AT ZION BEHAVIOR HEALTH. UNTIL A PERMANENT PARTNER IS IS ASSIGNED.
- Intervention needed on bullying in schoolson January 13, 2023 at 12:39 am
The programme was launched in February 2013, with a focus of not only intervention and counselling, but also educating and raising awareness about the different forms of bullying for both students ...
- Intervention improves autistic children's behavior, reduces parental stresson January 12, 2023 at 11:46 am
New research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London shows that "Predictive Parenting," a group-based behavioral parenting intervention for ...
- Effectiveness of slow eating intervention tested in overweight and obese womenon January 11, 2023 at 4:33 am
A recent Eating Behaviors study has aimed to develop and test the effectiveness of a 5-week slow-eating intervention in obese women. The impact of a modified within-meal eating behavior ...
- Music-based interventions: exploring the neural basis and establishing reproducibility in an emerging fieldon January 11, 2023 at 4:20 am
She is also the co-chair of the trans-NIH Music and Health Working Group, set up 4 years ago to develop and implement a research agenda for music-based interventions. Wen Chen (right) is the Branch ...
- School garden-based interventions can improve blood sugar, reduce bad cholesterol in childrenon January 10, 2023 at 12:40 pm
School garden-based interventions can improve metabolic parameters such as blood sugar and cholesterol in children, according to a new study from UTHealth Houston. A cluster randomized controlled ...
- School garden-based interventions can improve blood sugar, reduce 'bad' cholesterol in childrenon January 9, 2023 at 4:01 pm
School garden-based interventions can improve metabolic parameters such as blood sugar and cholesterol in children, according to a new study. School garden-based interventions can improve ...
- Prioritise psychosocial interventions for victims of substance abuseon January 5, 2023 at 7:13 pm
Government and other stakeholders in the health sector have been urged to prioritise psychosocial interventions as ... Enhancement Centre (TOLEC-GH), a psychology-focused organisation, who made ...
- Healthy Eating Interventions That Workon January 4, 2023 at 5:13 pm
Examining this topic through a broad lens, the special issue focuses on interventions conducted in the field rather than lab-based studies, as there is often a large gap between what people ...
- A need for more research on how lifestyle interventions could help high-risk pregnant populationson January 4, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Obesity is a key risk factor influencing CH or DM/T2DM. Study: Evidence of lifestyle interventions in a pregnant population with chronic hypertension and/or pre-existing diabetes: A systematic ...
via Bing News