Many people acquire video game consoles to play in their spare time, but thanks to the research made by a medical team from Bellvitge University Hospital, an interactive videogame named Island, has been developed to help patients with psychological disorders.
The game, which took four years to develop, can induce and regulate emotional states in people with eating disorders and pathological gamblers, such as anger, rage or boredom.
The treatment, which lasts four months, promises to improve management of negative emotions, capacity planning and assessment of consequences in short to medium term, coping styles, stress (emotional self-control, delay of response, ability to relax and self sensory observation, alternative thinking and decision making). A series of physiological reactions (pulse, respiration) are recorded by bio sensors and detect facial expressions and voice, all of this influences the game, which aims is to try to leave the island.
The patient (aged between 18 and 35) would have to play, medically supervised, 20 to 30 minutes before each therapy session.
According to Susana Jiménez Murcia, head of the Pathological Gambling Unit of the hospital and one of the project clinical officers, said 75% to 80% of patients with pathological gambling got better. While 65% were able to recover from bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders, said Fernando Fernandez Aranda, head of the Eating Disorders Unit of the hospital and one of the sponsors of the project. By using the game as a complement to conventional cognitive-behavioral therapy, it can improve the effectiveness of treatment.
Source: El País