University of Twente Student Theses


Serious game design suggestions to support self-efficacy for children and adolescents with infantile cerebral palsy

Buschmann, K. (2020) Serious game design suggestions to support self-efficacy for children and adolescents with infantile cerebral palsy.

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Abstract:Infantile cerebral palsy (ICP) is a non-progressive, chronic disorder, affecting movement, posture, and muscle tone. Patients receive a combination of different therapies addressing physical impairments, whereas psychological aspects, such as self-efficacy, are addressed less often. Self-efficacy, the belief in one’s ability to complete tasks successfully, has been shown to positively affect perseverance, motivation, and therapy adherence. Therefore, increasing self-efficacy can also aid ICP patients in therapy and in continuing practice at home. Yet, existing exercises are often repetitive and can therefore lead to therapy tiredness. To counteract this, serious games can be used, as they can distract from movement repetitiveness and be tailored to the player’s interest to prevent therapy tiredness. The objective of the current research is to develop serious game suggestions for supporting self-efficacy for ICP patients. This will be done by investigating (1) aspects affecting self-efficacy in ICP patients and (2) how aspects increasing self-efficacy can be integrated in a serious game. Semi-structured interviews with ICP patients, therapists, and parents of children with ICP (N=15) were conducted to gain an overview of what factors affect self-efficacy. A focus group (N=4) and two individual interviews were conducted, with the aim of discussing if and how themes drawn from the interviews can be integrated into a serious game. Data were analysed using the six-phase approach by Braun & Clarke (2006). The interview results yielded six themes on self-efficacy in ICP: (1) success and motivation, (2) failures, (3) emotions and physiology, (4) external influences, (5) feedback, and (6) goal setting & control. These results were used to develop a follow-up second research phase. Based on results from the second phase, nine suggestions for improving self-efficacy were derived and linked to self-efficacy. In addition, all participants agreed that support self-efficacy through a serious game may be feasible though difficult. Study results are discussed in light of the literature, and nine suggestions for serious game development were phrased based on the results from the second phase. Additionally, motivation, autonomy as well as enjoyment of the game transpired to be important in relation to self-efficacy support.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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