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See detailGamified web-delivered attentional bias modification training for adults with chronic pain: Protocol for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Vermeir, Julie F; White, Melanie J; Johnson, Daniel et al

in JMIR Research Protocols (2022)

Background: Research to date has found variable success in using attentional bias modification training (ABMT) procedures in pain samples. Several factors could contribute to these mixed findings ... [more ▼]

Background: Research to date has found variable success in using attentional bias modification training (ABMT) procedures in pain samples. Several factors could contribute to these mixed findings, including boredom and low motivation. Indeed, training paradigms are repetitive, which can lead to disengagement and high drop-out rates. A potential approach to overcome some of these barriers is to attempt to increase motivation and engagement through gamification (ie, the use of game elements) of this procedure. To date, research has yet to explore the gamified format of ABMT for chronic pain and its potential for transfer of benefits. Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of a gamified web-delivered ABMT intervention in a sample of adults with chronic pain via a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Methods: One hundred and twenty adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain, recruited from clinical (hospital outpatient waiting list) and non-clinical (wider community) settings, will be included in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-arm trial. Participants will be randomly assigned to complete six online sessions of dot-probe non-gamified sham control ABMT, non-gamified standard ABMT, or gamified ABMT, across a period of three weeks. Active ABMT conditions will aim to train attention away from pain-relevant words. Participant outcomes will be assessed at pre-training, during training, immediately post-training and at 1-month follow-up. Primary outcomes include pain intensity, pain interference, and behavioral and self-reported engagement. Secondary outcomes include attentional bias for pain, anxiety, depression, interpretation bias for pain, and perceived improvement. Results: The ethical aspects of this research project have been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committees of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (HREC/2020/QRBW/61743) and Queensland University of Technology (2000000395). This trial is currently in the active participant recruitment phase (since August 2021). Data collection and analysis are expected to conclude by October 2022 and January 2023, respectively. Conclusions: This trial will be the first to evaluate the effects of gamification techniques in a pain ABMT intervention. The findings will provide important information on the potential therapeutic benefits of gamified pain ABMT programs, shed light on the motivational influences of certain game elements in the context of pain, and advance our understanding of chronic pain. Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12620000803998 [less ▲]

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See detailThe effects of gamification on computerized cognitive training : systematic review and meta-analysis
Vermeir, Julie F.; White, Melanie J.; Johnson, Daniel et al

in JMIR SERIOUS GAMES (2020), 8(3), 18644234--18644256

Background: There has been a growing interest in the application of gamification (ie, the use of game elements) to computerized cognitive training. The introduction of targeted gamification features to ... [more ▼]

Background: There has been a growing interest in the application of gamification (ie, the use of game elements) to computerized cognitive training. The introduction of targeted gamification features to such tasks may increase motivation and engagement as well as improve intervention effects. However, it is possible that game elements can also have adverse effects on cognitive training (eg, be a distraction), which can outweigh their potential motivational benefits. So far, little is known about the effectiveness of such applications. Objective: This study aims to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the effect of gamification on process outcomes (eg, motivation) and on changes in the training domain (eg, cognition), as well as to explore the role of potential moderators. Methods: We searched PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, ProQuest Psychology, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, Excerpta Medica dataBASE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Xplore, Association for Computing Machinery, and a range of gray-area literature databases. The searches included papers published between 2008 and 2018. Meta-analyses were performed using a random-effects model. 0.72) and more demanding/difficult (Hedges g=-0.52) than non- or less-gamified tasks, whereas no effects on the training domain were found. Furthermore, no variables moderated the impact of gamified training tasks. However, meta-analytic findings were limited due to a small number of studies. Conclusions: Overall, this review provides an overview of the existing research in the domain and provides evidence for the effectiveness of gamification in improving motivation/engagement in the context of cognitive training. We discuss the shortcomings in the current literature and provide recommendations for future research. [less ▲]

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