View the poster here: Gamification-and-behavior-change-in-the-self-management-of-chronic-conditions.pdf
Cranford, NJ – September 19, 2017 – Kate Perry, MSc, PsychD, Director of Behavioral Science at Atlantis Healthcare, joined a roster of international experts to speak at the 31st
Annual European Health Psychology Society (EHPS) conference, August 29 – September 2, in Padova, Italy. Under the theme “Innovative Ideas in Health Psychology,” Dr. Perry presented a research review, co-authored with her colleague Dr. Laura Moore, on the use of gamification in supporting self-management behaviors for adults living with chronic physical health conditions.
Gamification is a broad umbrella term used to describe the process of applying gaming elements to engage and motivate people in non-game contexts. The research from Drs. Perry and Moore suggests that while the use of gamification in patient self-management is still in its infancy, it holds promise as a means of enhancing interventions to change health behaviors, including treatment adherence.
“The research indicates that gamification is a technique that is not suited to all patients, and that interventions should not use gamification exclusively, but rather tailor the use of certain elements to patient preference or need,” she said. “This is consistent with the research across behavior change that shows a one-size-fits all approach does not work, and that programs need to be tailored to the individual patient to be truly effective."
Future Role for Health Psychology in Gamification
Studies reporting on gamification interventions presented mixed results, and suggested that behavior theory could be used to support the development of more effective interventions. “While the omission of theory in the studies we reviewed could be seen to be problematic, it suggests an exciting role for health psychology and other behavioral sciences to ensure gamification interventions are grounded in theory for a more coherent intervention experience and long-term results."
According to Dr. Perry, future research needs to assess effectiveness of gamification over the long term, beyond what could be perceived as short-term novelty effects in, for example, reward-based approaches.
Hot Topics: Technology and User-Centered Design
Dr. Perry observed two overarching themes throughout the scientific sessions that offer relevant insights for behavior change interventions in healthcare:
- The role of technology in enhancing patient engagement with interventions: e.g., the use of technology to seamlessly tailor content and communication mode to be more personalized to the individual
- The rise of user-centered or co-designed interventions: e.g., involving patients in all stages of intervention design from concept testing to feasibility pilots to ongoing intervention refinements
“These themes offer key learnings for the design of a broad range of effective interventions in healthcare, including but certainly not limited to gamification,” she noted.
About Atlantis Healthcare
Atlantis Healthcare leverages health psychology to develop and deliver uniquely personalized healthcare solutions that drive sustained improvement in treatment adherence and patient self-management across disease states. Led by a team of globally recognized health psychology experts, we use clinically proven models and academic research to develop award-winning behavior change programs worldwide.
About the European Health Psychology Society
The European Health Psychology Society (EHPS) is a professional organization formed to promote empirical and theoretical research in and applications of health psychology within Europe, as well as the interchange of information related to health psychology with other associations throughout the world towards an international achievement of these aims. www.ehps.net