Jiménez‑Muñoz, L., Peñuelas‑Calvo, I., Calvo‑Rivera, P., Díaz‑Oliván, I., Moreno, M., Baca‑García, E., and Porras‑Segovia, A. (2022). Video Games for the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2022) 52:169–188. Accessed May 23, 2022 at https://link-springer-com.prox...0803-021-04934-9.pdf
How It Relates to Gaming
- Video game-based interventions were effective in alleviating symptoms though with small effect sizes, according to this systematic review of 24 studies of ADHD.
- Video games received high rates of acceptability and adherence (as measured by completion rates) for neurofeedback training, physical training, social training, and other interventions (personal hygiene, emotional recognition, auditory sensitivity).
- Therapeutic video games foster motivation, participation, collaboration, and socialization. Clinicians are cautioned to manage risk associated with video game use in a heterogeneous ADHD population (e.g., solitary gaming, sedentary lifestyle).
- Future research requires larger samples and longer study intervals. Designs need to be modernistic, futuristic, and engaging. Commercial games could be adapted for therapeutic purposes for ADHD populations. Schools are seen as allies in therapy.
- Canadian data showed a prevalence of ADHD of 7% in adults aged 20 years and older, and 2.1% among 6 to 11 years. The Ontario Child Health Study reported 6.1% among children aged 4 to 16. The Quebec Child Mental Health Survey reported 5.4% among children aged 6 to 14. WHO cited a high of 8.1% (USA) to a low of 0.1% (Iraq).
- Rates vary across countries for various reasons, e.g., use of DSM versus ICD for diagnosis, medicalization/criminalizing/moralizing of certain behaviors, and sociological factors within education and changing expectations for children (more homework, less recess, less unstructured free time to relax and play, high-stakes standardized testing, increased competition for colleges, and/or a less accommodating economy).