ERIC Number: ED422312
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jul
Health Education Video Games for Children and Adolescents: Theory, Design, and Research Findings.
Lieberman, Debra A.
This study examined whether video games could be effective health education and therapeutic interventions for children and adolescents with diabetes. KIDZ Health Software developed a game about diabetes self-management, and tested its effectiveness for children with diabetes. The Packy and Marlon Super Nintendo video game promotes fun, self-esteem, social support, increased knowledge, positive health behaviors, and positive health outcomes, and it teaches diabetes self-management skills. The characters are adolescent diabetic elephants going to a diabetes summer camp. Players help the characters monitor blood glucose, take appropriate amounts of insulin, review diabetes logbooks, and find foods according to the right number of food exchanges. Players learn about self-care and typical social situations related to diabetes. To win, players must engage in specific health-promoting behaviors. Children with diabetes and their parents from two clinics participated in a study that involved interviews before and after routine visits, testing of glycated hemoglobin, and receipt of either Packy and Marlon or a pinball video game to take home and play. After 6 months, participants rated the games. Interviewers examined time spent playing the game, self-efficacy, social support, knowledge, and self-care. Results indicated that children not only liked Packy and Marlon as well as the pinball game, but Packy and Marlon also significantly improved self-care behaviors, self-efficacy, and health outcomes. (Contains 1 table, 9 figures, and 29 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: KIDZ Health Software, Inc., Mountain View, CA.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (48th, Jerusalem, Israel, July 20-24, 1998).