The Use of Electronic Games in Therapy: a Review with Clinical Implications


Abstract

Therapists and patients enjoy and benefit from interventions that use electronic games (EG) in health care and mental health settings, with a variety of diagnoses and therapeutic goals. We reviewed the use of electronic games designed specifically for a therapeutic purpose, electronic games for psychotherapy (EGP), also called serious games, and commercially produced games used as an adjunct to psychotherapy, electronic games for entertainment (EGE). Recent research on the benefits of EG in rehabilitation settings, EGP, and EGE indicates that electronic methods are often equivalent to more traditional treatments and may be more enjoyable or acceptable, at least to some consumers. Methodological concerns include the lack of randomized controlled trials (RCT) for many applications. Suggestions are offered for using EG in therapeutic practice.

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