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A multidisciplinary journal on gaming and gamification including simulation and immersive virtual reality for health education/promotion, teaching and social change.
JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279) is a sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), one of the most cited journals in health informatics. In June 2018, JSG received an official inaugural journal impact factor of 2.226 (Journal Citation Reports 2017, Clarivate Analytics). This ranks JSG at the top of all gaming related academic journals, ahead of (for example) more established competitor journals such as the Games for Health Journal.
JSG is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer/web/mobile/augmented and virtual reality applications that incorporate elements of gaming to solve serious problems such as health education/promotion, teaching and education, or social change.
The journal also considers commentary and research in the fields of video games violence and video games addiction.
JMIR Serious Games is indexed in Pubmed, PubMed Central, and in Clarivate/Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE).
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Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death in the world. Major improvements in acute care and diagnostics have created a tendency towards the chronification of formerly terminal conditions, req...
Chronic conditions are the leading cause of death in the world. Major improvements in acute care and diagnostics have created a tendency towards the chronification of formerly terminal conditions, requiring people with these conditions to learn how to self-manage. Mobile technologies hold promise as self-management tools due to their ubiquity and cost-effectiveness. The delivery of health-related services through the use of mobile technologies (mHealth) has grown exponentially in recent years. However, only a fraction of these solutions takes into consideration the views of relevant stakeholders like healthcare professionals or even patients. The use of behavioral change models (BCM) has proven important in developing successful health solutions, yet engaging patients remains a challenge. There is a trend in mHealth solutions called gamification that attempts to use game elements to drive user behavior and increase engagement. As it stands, designers of mHealth solutions for behavioral change in chronic conditions have no clear way of deciding what factors are relevant to consider. The focus of this work is to discover factors for the design of mHealth solutions for chronic patients; to do so, negotiations between medical knowledge, BCM, and gamification were explored through an embedded case study research methodology. The data obtained was thematically analyzed to create the Model for Motivational Mobile-health Design for chronic conditions (3MD). The 3MD model guides the design of condition-oriented gamified behavioral change mHealth solutions. The main components are: 1) Condition-specific, which describe factors that need to be adjusted and adapted for each particular chronic condition; 2) Motivation-related; which are factors that address how to influence behaviors in an engaging manner; and 3) Technology-based, which are factors that are directly connected to the technical capabilities of mobile technologies. 3MD also provides a series of high level illustrative design questions for designers to use and consider during the design process. The present work addresses a recognized gap in research and practice, and proposes a unique model that could be of use in the generation of new solutions to help chronic patients.
Background: The idea of using serious games to effectuate better outcomes in healthcare has gained significant traction among a growing community of researchers, developers and healthcare professional...
Background: The idea of using serious games to effectuate better outcomes in healthcare has gained significant traction among a growing community of researchers, developers and healthcare professionals. Many now recognize the importance of creating evidence-based games that are purposefully designed to address relevant challenges faced by end users. To date, no regulatory resources have been established to guide the development of serious games for health (SGH). Developers must therefore look elsewhere for guidance. Although a more robust level of evidence exists in the research literature, it is not structured, nor is there any clear consensus. Developers currently use a variety of approaches and methodologies. The establishment of a well-defined framework that represents the consensus views of the SGH research community would help developers improve the efficiency of internal development processes, as well as chances of success. A consensus framework would also benefit the wider SGH research community by enhancing the credibility of SGH and providing quality evidence of their effectiveness. Objective: This research aims first, to identify and evaluate the requirements, recommendations and guidelines proposed by the SGH research community in the research literature, and second, to develop a consensus framework that can guide developers in the development of evidence-based SGH. Methods: A critical review of the literature was performed in Nov-Dec 2016. A three-step search strategy and a predefined set of inclusion criteria were used to identify relevant articles in PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. A supplemental search of publications from regulatory authorities was also conducted to capture requirements of these specific stakeholders. Three researchers independently evaluated the identified articles. The associated evidence was coded and categorized for analysis and evaluation. Results: Our review identified 4 categories of high-level requirements as well as 19 low-level requirements, suggested by the SGH community. These advocate a methodological approach that is multi-disciplinary, iterative and participatory. Based on the requirements identified, we propose a framework for developing theory-driven evidence-based SGH. It consists of 5 distinct stages that are informed by various stakeholders and focusses on building strong scientific and design foundations that inform and guide the creative and technical development. It includes qualitative trials to evaluate whether the SGH achieves the intended outcomes, as well as efforts to disseminate trial findings and follow-up monitoring after the SGH is rolled out for use. Conclusions: Review resulted in the formulation of a framework for developing theory-driven, evidence-based SGH that represents many of the requirements set out by SGH stakeholders in the literature. The framework covers all aspects of the development process (scientific, technological and design) and is transparently described in sufficient detail to allow developers to implement it in a wide variety of projects, irrespective of discipline, healthcare segments or focus.
Background: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender youth and other young people diverse in terms of their sexuality and gender (LGBT+) are at an elevated risk of mental health problems, such as depre...
Background: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender youth and other young people diverse in terms of their sexuality and gender (LGBT+) are at an elevated risk of mental health problems, such as depression. Factors such as isolation and stigma mean that accessing mental health services can be particularly challenging for LGBT+ young people, and previous studies have highlighted that many prefer to access psychological support online. Research from New Zealand has demonstrated promising effectiveness and acceptability for an LGBT+focused computerized cognitive behavioral therapy program, Rainbow SPARX. However, there has been limited other research conducted in the area of e-therapy for LGBT+ people. Objective: We aimed to explore how and why LGBT+ youth in the United Kingdom (UK) use the internet to support their mental health. We also sought to explore LGBT+ young people’s and professionals’ views about e-therapies, drawing upon the example of Rainbow SPARX. Methods: Three focus groups and five semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 LGBT+ young people (aged 15 to 22 years old) and six professionals (four health and social care practitioners and two National Health Service commissioners) in England and Wales. A general inductive approach was used to analyze qualitative data emanating from the interview and focus group transcripts. Results: : LGBT+ youth participants considered that use of the internet was ubiquitous and that it was valuable for support and information. However, youth participants also thought that internet use could also be problematic, and they highlighted certain internet safety and personal security considerations. They drew on a range of gaming experiences and expectations to inform their feedback about Rainbow SPARX, and their responses focused on the need for this e-therapy program to be updated and refined. LGBT+ young people experienced challenges related to stigma and mistreatment, and they suggested that strategies addressing their common challenges should be included in e-therapy content. Professionals also emphasized the need to update and refine Rainbow SPARX. Moreover, professionals also highlighted some of the issues associated with e-therapies needing to demonstrate effectiveness and the difficulties associated with commissioning processes. Conclusions: LGBT+ young people use the internet to obtain support and access information, including information related to their mental health. They are interested in LGBT+ specific e-therapies, however these must be up-to-date, engaging, and adequately acknowledge their LGBT+ youth experiences.
Background: Alcohol abuse is the primary cause of (public) health problems in most parts of the world. However, it is undeniable that alcohol consumption is a practice widely accepted socially in many...
Background: Alcohol abuse is the primary cause of (public) health problems in most parts of the world. However, it is undeniable that alcohol consumption is a practice widely accepted socially in many places, even being protected by law as a cultural and historical heritage. The issue of alcohol abuse is complex and urgent and, consequently, it is necessary to create innovative approaches to treatment, such as the proposal explored in this research. Objective: This research explores the development and evaluation of a serious game for mobile devices (Android) to present a novel approach to address the issue of alcohol abuse. Methods: Development of a serious game to instill the consequences of alcohol abuse into the player through experimentation in the game. The consequences of alcohol use are represented by increasing the game speed, giving an illusion of fun, but also leading, proportionally to its abuse, to a premature death. The evaluation employs an assessment based on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and the Game Experience Questionnaire (GEQ). The evaluation participants belong to the university student’s house. Results: The general game development process is presented, including its mechanics and gameplay. The game developed in Unity3D has the style of action and adventure games, in which the player controls an indigenous avatar that can deflect or attack opponents coming his way. The game evaluation comprised an assessment based on 23 participants, aged 20 to 29. According to the AUDIT assessment, 18 reported having a low or nonexistent degree of alcohol dependence, and 5 declared an average dependence. Regarding their habit of playing games on smartphones, 9 participants declared they have this habit (H) and among the 14 that do not have this habit (NH), 3 participants declared not having a smartphone at all. The GEQ core assessment shows a higher positive affect among the participants with a habit of playing games, getting 2.80 (H), in a scale to 4.0, vs 1.61 (NH), and a higher tension as an opposite relationship of 0.81 (NH) vs 0.37(H). The overall GEQ evaluation shows the game presents more positive than negative effects to all users, besides showing the other desirable characteristics for serious games. Conclusions: The authors present a new way of dealing with issue of alcohol abuse through a game designed for mobile devices. It promotes an overall positive user experience, having a greater impact on users accustomed to games. The proposed game-based approach has its niche, though it is still a minority in the evaluated population. Further research would explore new game features, like new styles, to become more attractive to a wider audience, in addition to performing an in-depth study of the game playing effect.