PhD-candidate interested in how and why applied games for mental health work.
In 2016 I graduated from the Research Master Behavioural Science at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. For my master thesis, entitled ‘In-game play behaviours during an applied video game for anxiety prevention predict succesful intervention outcomes’ I investigated mechanisms of change in the in-house designed video game Mindlight. I have been awarded with a Research Talent grant from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and I will be continuing my gaming research at Radboud University and within the Games for Emotional and Mental Health-lab (GEMH-lab) as a PhD candidate.
The video game MindLight has been found to be an effective anxiety prevention program (see project: MindLight - Childhood Anxiety Prevention). However, we don’t know whether the clinical techniques incorporated in the game were responsible for the observed changes in anxiety symptoms. In this project we examined how children play MindLight, to what extent they interact with the clinical techniques in the game and how that relates to their anxiety improvements.
More and more games are designed to promote mental health. If these games are found to be effective, it is important to investigate which factors are responsible for the improvements in mental health. Most often, this type of research focuses on the specific clinical techniques that were designed into the game. However, from the clinical literature it is known that, for instance, expectations, motivation, and one’s mindset about the malleability of symptoms play a major role in positive intervention outcomes. In my project I aim to investigate these nonspecific factors and examine how we can manipulate these factors in order to optimize video games for mental health.
This month’s theme is about placebo effects. Because the month is almost over, I would like to end the theme month with a discussion. Before I do so, I will briefly recap our previous blog posts.
Expectations and beliefs not only have an influence on self-reported improvements, but they also influence our physiology.
The placebo effect is more than just a sugar pill. The social context plays an important role in reinforcing beliefs about the treatment.
It is June and time for a new theme! Before I tell you what this month’s theme is about, I would like to tell you a little story..
This month’s theme is about help-seeking for anxiety and depression. There are quite some people that play video games to feel better and to lower their anxiety and depressive feelings. In this blog, I would like to tell you more about Monument Valley. This game is not only one of GEMH’s favourite games, but also a game that a lot of participants in one of our studies enjoyed very much because it is so relaxing and calming.
RT @yoanneke: Great video by @ExtraCreditz emphasizing the need for more research into the potential mental health benefits of video games.…
RT @GEMH_Lab: GEMH lab rounds up another theme month at https://t.co/km5sWzFXCK Please let us know below if you were (or are) a doctor, c…
Short blog about the influence of expectations on our physiology. Would it be possible to change physiological arou… https://t.co/9b9Pc3S1pr
Paper accepted! "Playing a mental health game does not necessarily lead to mental health improvements, it is about… https://t.co/sv41qzEUDb
"The placebo effect is more than just a sugar pill" - @GEMH_Lab Placebo Theme month. https://t.co/QUjuvYqUZL https://t.co/SvHBRx5XhX
The SIPS conference is devoted to medical, psychological, and neurobiological research on placebo effects, and will also address ethical dilemmas and treatment options.
Wols, A., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Schoneveld, E. A., & Granic, I. (2018). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-018-9684-4
Author: Aniek Wols
Upload date: 06-11-2018
Games for Emotional and Mental Health
Author: Aniek Wols
Upload date: 08-14-2018