Mental health conditions in children and adolescents have wide-ranging effects, limiting opportunities for future productive lives. While there has been an upsurge of interest in using games for learning, gamification to optimize health outcomes is worth reviewing when this approach to address mental health conditions is in its infancy. A literature search was conducted with two hundred and fifteen articles involving participants up to 19 years of age with diagnosable mental health conditions, involving the concept of game design elements to motivate health in the context of comparing gamification and non-gamification approaches were retrieved after employing Boolean operators and pre-determined search strategies. Literature of participants with addiction to alcohol or substance use and organic brain issues were excluded as their mental health recovery differed regardless of gamification impact. Findings, extracted from 8 included articles following rigorous screening and critical appraisal, showed that gamification to relieve mental health symptoms were conducted via mobile devices or computers. Key features of the games involved applications or video where players with mental health conditions took on roles in a virtual world with narratives. Real-life knowledge and skills to manage the symptoms of mental health conditions were learned in the process as players leveled up in the game. Only one study utilized gamification platforms that could detect breathing changes but it was shown to be only helpful towards relief of anxiety symptoms. Nevertheless, the potential for gamification for mental health outcomes remains promising.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Archives of Psychiatric Nursing
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Quiz game teaching format versus didactic lectures.British Journal of Nursing. 2015; 24: 86-92
- Development and pilot evaluation of smartphone-delivered cognitive behavior therapy strategies for mood-and anxiety-related problems: Mood Mission.Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. 2018; 25: 496-514
- Educational gaming in the health sciences: Systematic review.Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2009; 65: 259-269
- Behavioral outcome effects of serious gaming as an adjunct to treatment for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomized controlled trial.Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2016; 18e26
- Is RET hink therapeutic game effective in preventing emotional disorders in children and adolescents? Outcomes of a randomized clinical trial.European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2019; 28: 111-122
- Serious games and gamification for mental health: Current status and promising directions.Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2017; 7: 215
- Serious games for the treatment or prevention of depression: A systematic review.Revista de Psicopatología y Psicología Clínica. 2014; 19: 227-242
- A trial of an iPad™ intervention targeting social communication skills in children with autism.Autism. 2016; 20: 771-782
- An investigation of the impact of regular use of the W ii F it to improve motor and psychosocial outcomes in children with movement difficulties: A pilot study.Child: Care, Health and Development. 2014; 40: 165-175
- Cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2005; CD004690
- JBI manual for evidence synthesis.
- Gamification for health and wellbeing: A systematic review of the literature.Internet Interventions. 2016; 6: 89-106
- Game-based biofeedback for paediatric anxiety and depression.Mental Health in Family Medicine. 2011; 8: 195
- Revealing the theoretical basis of gamification: A systematic review and analysis of theory in research on gamification, serious games and game-based learning.Computers in Human Behavior. 2021; 125106963
- Between level up and game over: A systematic literature review of gamification in education.Sustainability. 2021; 13: 2247
- A systematic review of gamification techniques applied to elderly care.Artificial Intelligence Review. 2020; : 1-39
- Mental health problems in children and young people.Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer. 2012; : 1-13
- Behavioural and emotional disorders in childhood: A brief overview for paediatricians.World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics. 2018; 7: 9
- Mental health recovery: What helps and what hinders? A national research project for the development of recovery facilitating system performance indicators.in: Prepared for National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. 2002
- A review of gamification for health-related contexts.in: International conference of design, user experience, and usability. Springer, Cham2014: 742-753
- Guidance for conducting systematic scoping reviews.International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare. 2015; 13: 141-146
- The gamification of healthcare: Emergence of the digital practitioner?.The American Journal of Managed Care. 2019; 25: 13-15
- Using mobile health gamification to facilitate cognitive behavioral therapy skills practice in child anxiety treatment: Open clinical trial.JMIR Serious Games. 2018; 6e9
- Preventing childhood anxiety disorders: Is an applied game as effective as a cognitive behavioral therapy-based program?.Prevention Science. 2018; 19: 220-232
- Beyond self-selection in video game play: An experimental examination of the consequences of massively multiplayer online role-playing game play.Cyberpsychology & Behavior. 2007; 10: 717-721
- A randomised controlled trial of a play-based intervention to improve the social play skills of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).PloS one. 2016; 11e0160558
- Child and adolescent mental and brain health.https://www.who.int/activities/improving-the-mental-and-brain-health-of-children-and-adolescentsDate: 2020
- Nursing research carnival: a fun-based approach to building the nursing research culture.Ann. Nursing Res. Pract. 2017; 2: 1021-1023
- A randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of Triple P Online with parents of children with early-onset conduct problems.Behaviour Behavior Research and Therapy. 2012; 50: 675-684
Published online: July 10, 2022
Accepted: July 3, 2022
Received in revised form: May 26, 2022
Received: December 17, 2021
☆The author has no conflict of interest to disclose.
☆The author would like to acknowledge the Nursing team at the Institute of Mental Health for their support.
© 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.