Navigation Links
Video game with biofeedback teaches children to curb their anger
Date:10/25/2012

Boston, Mass. , Oct. 24, 2012Children with serious anger problems can be helped by a simple video game that hones their ability to regulate their emotions, finds a pilot study at Boston Children's Hospital. Results were published online October 24 in the journal Adolescent Psychiatry.

Noticing that children with anger control problems are often uninterested in psychotherapy, but very eager to play video games, Jason Kahn, PhD, and Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD, at Boston Children's Hospital developed "RAGE Control" to motivate children to practice emotional control skills that they can later use in challenging life situations.

The fast-paced game involves shooting at enemy spaceships while avoiding shooting at friendly ones. As children play, a monitor on one finger tracks their heart rate and displays it on the computer screen. When heart rate goes above a certain level, players lose their ability to shoot at the enemy spaceships. To improve their game, they must learn to keep calm.

"The connections between the brain's executive control centers and emotional centers are weak in people with severe anger problems," explains Gonzalez-Heydrich, chief of Psychopharmacology at Boston Children's and senior investigator on the study. "However, to succeed at RAGE Control, players have to learn to use these centers at the same time to score points."

The study, led by first author Peter Ducharme, MSW, a clinical social worker at Boston Children's, compared two groups of 9- to 17-year-old children admitted to the hospital's Psychiatry Inpatient Service who had high levels of anger. To qualify for the study, the children had to have a normal IQ and not need a medication change during the five-day study period.

One group, with 19 children, received standard treatments for anger including cognitive-behavioral therapy, presentation of relaxation techniques and social skills training for five consecutive business days. The second group, with 18 children, got these same treatments, but spent the last 15 minutes of their psychotherapy session playing RAGE Control.

After five sessions, the video gamers were significantly better at keeping their heart rate down. They showed clinically significant decreases in anger scores on the State Trait Anger Expression Inventory-Child and Adolescent (STAXI-CA), and specifically on:

  • the intensity of anger at a particular time
  • the frequency of angry feelings over time
  • expression of anger towards others or objects.

The gamers also had a decrease in suppressed, internalized anger that reached marginal statistical significance. In contrast, the standard-treatment group showed no significant change from baseline on any of the above measures.

The video gamers gave their therapy experience high marks for helpfulness (5 to 6 on a scale of 7). "Kids reported feeling better control of their emotions when encountering day to day frustrations on the unit," says Ducharme. "While this was a pilot study, and we weren't able to follow the kids after they were discharged, we think the game will help them control their emotions in other environments."

More studies in progress

The investigators are now conducting a randomized, controlled clinical trial of RAGE Control in the outpatient clinic at Boston Children's that adds a cooperative component. The children team up with a parent for 10 game sessions at the clinic; if either the parent's or the child's heart rate goes up, neither of them can shoot, forcing them to help calm each other. (Click here for more information.)

The research team plans another clinical trial to test whether letting children take RAGE Control home, to play with parents and siblings, will increase its effect.

In addition, Kahn is spearheading a team effort to develop toys to enhance emotional regulation skills in children too young for RAGE Control. These toys include racing cars that stop if a child gets too excited and, for even younger children, a cooperative game where children try to help each other stack blocks (if heart rate goes up, the table becomes wobbly and the blocks topple).


'/>"/>

Contact: Meghan Weber
Meghan.Weber@childrens.harvard.edu
617-919-3110
Boston Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. The future of diagnosing disease: New American Chemical Society Prized Science video
2. Do Video Games Promote Reckless Driving in Certain Teens?
3. SfN announces winners of brain awareness video contest
4. Video shows the traffic inside a brain cell
5. American Chemical Society launches 2012 edition of popular Prized Science video series
6. YouTube Videos Might Help Ease Form of Vertigo
7. Content Writing King Announces Cancellation Of Experimental Video Creation Process For Their Article Marketing Website
8. CustomerCentric Selling® Unveils New Client Testimonial Videos to Showcase Significant Sales Success
9. USA Payday Forever Announces New Payday Loan Training Videos For Customers
10. Repelling the rays: New American Chemical Society video on sunscreens
11. AuntMinnie Begins Live Video Stream of ISCT Conference Proceedings
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 25, 2017 , ... CareSet Labs released the Root NPI Graph today ... a new, greatly improved version of the Doctor Referral teaming dataset commonly available from ... and subsequently called the the “Doctor Referral Dataset” as released by Medicare and “DocGraph” ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic ... Erie Bayfront and Erie Convention Center on June 8-10. The weekend consisted ... quiz bowl, award and scholarship presentations, and professional networking. , On Friday ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Rhode Island ... Care Management Alerts and Dashboards, an innovative new service enabling healthcare providers to ... Care Management Alerts and Dashboards provide near real-time data about patients admitted to ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Studies show evidence that carotenoids ... risk of visual loss in these patients. , But how often do ophthalmologists and ... cessation to patients at risk of or with early symptoms of AMD? A ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Everybody has their own personal preference when it comes to ... some people don't like it at all. FindaTopDoc took a look at what makes ... can give readers a taste of their deepest, darkest fantasies and has the ability ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/9/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 9, 2017 More ... a further effort to help spread lessons learned from ... the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and Eli Lilly and ... for the second phase of the Bringing Research in ... reaffirming their commitment to helping people with diabetes effectively ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... 2017   Responding to Heath Ledger,s father,s ... of singer Chris Cornell in May, the mental ... a free online psychiatric drug side effects ... about psychotropic drug risks. The father of ... an accidental overdose, has called for tighter rules on prescription ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017 Endo International plc ... 7, 2017, the Hon. Joseph R. Goodwin , ... West Virginia , entered a case ... Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation (the "MDL") that ... cases to provide expert disclosures on specific causation within ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: