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Digital games can help heart patients exercise more

Digital games can help heart patients exercise more
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Digital games can effectively help people engage in more physical exercise and could be used to prevent or manage heart diseases, according to...

Houston: Digital games can effectively help people engage in more physical exercise and could be used to prevent or manage heart diseases, according to scientists including one of Indian origin. The research, by Kavita Radhakrishnan from University of Texas in the US and colleagues, found that the use of digital games improved exercise capacity and energy expenditure significantly.

Average adherence rates for the game interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) self-management ranged from 70 to 100 per cent across all studies, and they were enjoyed by a majority of participants in studies that assessed perceptions of the interventions.

However, the use of digital games did not affect quality of life, self-efficacy, anxiety, or depression, according to the study published in the Games for Health Journal. The researchers reviewed recent research evidence on game interventions for CVD-related self-management behaviours in patients diagnosed with coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypertension, or myocardial infarction (heart attacks).

They recommend that future research includes longer study durations and larger sample sizes, game design that is informed by theoretical frameworks for behavior change, and additional CVD self-management behaviours.

"Compliance with the self-care prescriptions for the heart-related disease therapies tends to be low. Games may provide a method for reaching large numbers of heart disease patients to teach easy to learn self-care practices in an enjoyable manner," said Thomas Baranowski, from Baylor College of Medicine in the US.

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