Serious games (computerised interventions which utilise gaming for serious purposes) have been shown to support improved outcomes in several health conditions.
We aimed to review evidence regarding serious games for depression. We undertook electronic searches of PsycInfo, EMBASE and Medline, using terms relevant to computer games and depression.
We included fulltext articles published in English in peer-reviewed literature since 2000, where the intervention was designed to treat or prevent depression and which included pre-and post-intervention measurement of depression. Nine studies relating to a total of six interventions met inclusion criteria.
Most studies were small and were carried out by the developers of the programs. All were tested with young people (ages between 9 and 25 years). Most reported promising results with some positive impact on depression although one universal program had mixed results. Serious gaming interventions show promise for depression, however evidence is currently very limited.
(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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