Fighting cancer with video games: Conclusion

Do you remember my post about Hopelab and their video game constructed to help children fighting cancer? Now an article was published in Pediatrics about the outcomes and advantages of using such video games in treating patients. An excerpt from the study:

In the study, participants who were given Re-Mission maintained higher levels of chemotherapy in their blood (20%; p=.002) and took their antibiotics more consistently (16%; p=.012) than those in the control group, demonstrating the game’s impact at a biological level. Participants given Re-Mission also showed faster acquisition of cancer-related knowledge (230%; p=.035) and faster increase in self-efficacy (370%; p=.011).

This study provides preliminary empirical support for the efficacy of a video-game intervention in improving behavioral outcomes in AYA with cancer. Given the role of behavioral factors in influencing chronic disease management more broadly, similar approaches could potentially be directed toward a variety of chronic diseases as an easily distributable approach to improving behavioral disease management. More broadly, the current results suggest that a carefully designed video game can have a positive impact on health behavior in young people with chronic illness.


Further reading: