Video games as a complementary therapy tool in mental disorders: PlayMancer, a European multicentre study

Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Juan J. Santamaría, Katarina Gunnard, Antonio Soto, Elias Kalapanidas, Richard G.A. Bults, Costas Davarakis, Todor Ganchev, Roser Granero, Dimitri Konstantas, Theodoros P. Kostoulas, Tony Lam, Mikkel Lucas, Cristina Masuet-Aumatell, Maher H. Moussa, Jeppe Nielsen, Eva Penelo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Previous review studies have suggested that computer games can serve as an alternative or additional form of treatment in several areas (schizophrenia, asthma or motor rehabilitation). Although several naturalistic studies have been conducted showing the usefulness of serious video games in the treatment of some abnormal behaviours, there is a lack of serious games specially designed for treating mental disorders.Aim The purpose of our project was to develop and evaluate a serious video game designed to remediate attitudinal, behavioural and emotional processes of patients with impulse-related disorders.Method and results The video game was created and developed within the European research project PlayMancer. It aims to prove potential capacity to change underlying attitudinal, behavioural and emotional processes of patients with impulse-related disorders. New interaction modes were provided by newly developed components, such as emotion recognition from speech, face and physiological reactions, while specific impulsive reactions were elicited. The video game uses biofeedback for helping patients to learn relaxation skills, acquire better self-control strategies and develop new emotional regulation strategies. In this article, we present a description of the video game used, rationale, user requirements, usability and preliminary data, in several mental disorders. © 2012 Informa UK, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-374
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Mental disorders
  • New technologies
  • Therapy
  • Video games

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