Examining the Effects of Casual Video Gameplay as an Intervention to Alleviate Symptoms of Depression on both Subjective and Objective Measures

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christina M. Brown-Bochicchio (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: Depression can be a debilitating illness that affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Although there are successful treatments for depression with pharmaceuticals and behavioral approaches such as psychotherapy, these approaches are often very costly and may carry a stigma of treatment for some individuals. The purpose of this dissertation study was to compare results of previously collected data that examine whether a prescribed regimen of casual videogame play (CVG) could reduce symptoms associated with depression. This dissertation specifically focused on comparing results of a study group and a comparison group on the self-report instrument, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) as well as objectively measured changes in alpha wave, Electroencephalogram (EEG) data.Participants in the original study were screened for depression using the PHQ-9. There were a total of 57 participants who met the study inclusion criteria. Each participant that met the inclusion criteria was then randomized into either the comparison group (n=29) or the study group (n=28). Experimental group participants were prescribed to play one of three CVGs three times per week (with 24 hours between each session). This process occurred for 30 minutes each session, over a 1-month period. Comparison group participants reviewed the National Institute of Mental Health"s webpage on depression during a pre-test and a post-test session. The participants in this group did not engage in any intervention over the one-month period of time between the pre-test and post-test sessions. A repeated-measures analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was completed to examine three research questions between subjects at Time 1 and Time 3 to compare changes in depression symptoms on both subjective, self-report (PHQ-9) and objective alpha wave EEG measures. The CVGs used as the intervention factor were either Peggle, Bejeweled or Bookworm Adventure. Study analysis revealed significant decreases in depression symptoms reported in the study group on the PHQ-9 self-report scale. Results along the objective, EEG alpha wave scale revealed non-statistically significant changes. Potential reasons for the non-significant findings along with recommendations for future research are also discussed. Conclusions from this study found that a prescribed regimen of CVG may have potential as an intervention to help reduce symptoms of depression as measured on the PHQ-9 scale. Further research should consider examining intricacies of CVG play as a potential intervention to address symptoms related to depression. Findings also revealed that while EEG findings were not statistically significant, participants self-report responses were significant and may underscore the importance of individual"s subjective feelings in the therapeutic process. -ƒ

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
Depression, Gaming, EEG, PHQ-9, Casual Video Game

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Examining the Effects of Casual Video Gameplay as an Intervention to Alleviate Symptoms of Depression on both Subjective and Objective Measureshttp://hdl.handle.net/10342/8807The described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.