GRANDMAS and grandads are being encouraged to take up mobile phone gaming.
According to a study by Coventry University’s Serious Games Institute (SGI) and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, serious games played on smart devices can significantly boost knowledge and awareness among elderly patients.
The research, presented at a recent congress in London, examined the effects of the use of a smart-device based serious game amongst older patients suffering from chronic kidney disease (CKD).
The results showed that use of the app over an eight week period led to an improved awareness by the patients of healthy dietary choices and of how to manage their hyperphosphatemia – an often misunderstood condition caused by insufficient filtering of phosphate from the blood by abnormal kidney function.
Speaking about the study, Pamela M. Kato, lead author and professor of serious games at Coventry University’s SGI, said: “There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests serious or educational games improve the knowledge of young people with chronic illnesses, but far less to suggest this approach can be applied to older patients.
“With this game-based intervention we were aiming to get a better understanding of how knowledge about chronic kidney disease and phosphates in the diet might be improved by the use of an app, particularly among patients over 40 years old.
“These are conditions about which there has traditionally been a very poor understanding among patients, so the improvements in knowledge associated with the use of the app suggest the approach can have an impact.
“Moreover, we were thrilled that this older population of patients actually used and engaged so positively with the app for the two-month duration of the study – this was a big accomplishment in itself.”