University of Twente Student Theses


The use of gamification in interventions for children with autism: a systematic review

Lokhorst, S.R. (2014) The use of gamification in interventions for children with autism: a systematic review.

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Abstract:Introduction: Technology is applied regularly in mental health care. One way to do so, is the use of gamification; applying game design elements in non-gaming contexts. Autism is a developmental disorder that is fairly common and creates severe difficulties for patients. The current treatment for children with ASD is intensive, and some parts of this treatment can potentially be executed using gamification. The aim of this review is to create an overview of the existing interventions for children with autism using gaming or game-elements. Furthermore, the goal is to evaluate whether or not these games or game-elements could be effective in treating children with autism and to assess whether or not this could potentially be used as (part of) a treatment program for children with ASD. Methods: This review is a continuation of previous research conducted by other students from the University of Twente in 2013. They created a database containing 362 articles by collecting scientific information regarding the use of gamification in healthcare. The research that is now presented continues by collecting literature within this database. Inclusion criteria were keywords “Autism”, “Asperger”, “Children”, “Adolescents” and “Young Adults”. Furthermore, articles were excluded if they did not propose a game developed specifically for children with ASD, did not propose an intervention and/or did not present any (preliminary) results. This resulted in seven articles to be reviewed. The articles were compared based on game characteristics, intervention characteristics and the effectiveness of the intervention. Results: The reviewed interventions vary in both game characteristics and intervention characteristics. Most of them are designed for PC or tablet, and most are focused on training social skills. The effectivity is often unknown, but most interventions seem promising. Conclusion: The use of gamification for children with ASD seems promising, but there has to be more research concerning the effectiveness of the interventions to be able to assess the usability of the interventions as (part of) a treatment program for children with ASD.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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