The increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) population triggers a deep concern within public health. This alarming trend stresses the need for the development of effective strategies that might aid with this growing population. Exergaming has several advantages as an ASD intervention, such as flexible play, a private space for exercise, and diverse types of physical activity. The study aims to analyze the effectiveness of exergaming interventions on individuals with ASD.
The systematic review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Studies which employed exergaming interventions on individuals with ASD were considered for inclusion. Exergaming-related changes in participants' physical and cognitive functions were the main interest of the current review. Ten articles satisfied the predetermined eligibility criteria. Thematic coding categorized the main outcomes into two higher-order themes and five subthemes. The higher-order themes were physical performance and cognitive performance.
The emerged subthemes were physical fitness, motor performance, intensity of physical activity, executive function, and self-perception. Following exergame interventions, individuals with ASD indicated significant improvements in physical fitness, executive function, and self-perception. Exergaming also increased participation in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. In contrast, exergaming indicated small impact on emotional regulation and did not provide adequate opportunities for motor skill development. It is worth noting that only one randomized controlled trial was included in the current review.
Future research would require more rigorous study designs to provide reliable evidence on the effectiveness of exergaming interventions for individuals with ASD. Exergaming interventions lead to improved physical and cognitive functions in individuals with ASD. It is suggested that exergaming be used as a feasible supplement to traditional physical activity programs for individuals with ASD.
Oversett med Google Translate