Board Games for Health: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis

Andrea Gauthier, Pamela Kato, Kim Bul, Ian Dunwell, Aimee Walker-Clarke, Petros Lameras

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Nondigital board games are being used to engage players and impact outcomes in health and medicine across diverse populations and contexts. This systematic review and meta-analysis describes and summarizes their impact based on randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials. An electronic search resulted in a review of n = 21 eligible studies. Sample sizes ranged from n = 17 to n = 3110 (n = 6554 total participants). A majority of the board game interventions focused on education to increase health-related knowledge and behaviors (76%, n = 16). Outcomes evaluated included self-efficacy, attitudes/beliefs, biological health indicators, social functioning, anxiety, and executive functioning, in addition to knowledge and behaviors. Using the Cochrane Collaboration tool for assessing bias, most studies (52%, n = 11) had an unclear risk of bias (33% [n = 7] had a high risk and 14% [n = 3] had a low risk). Statistical tests of publication bias were not significant. A random-effects meta-analysis showed a large average effect of board games on health-related knowledge (d* = 0.82, 95% confidence interval; CI [0.15–1.48]), a small-to-moderate effect on behaviors (d* = 0.33, 95% CI [0.16–0.51]), and a small-to-moderate effect on biological health indicators (d* = 0.37, 95% CI [0.21–0.52]). The findings contribute to the literature on games and gamified approaches in healthcare. Future research efforts should aim for more consistent high scientific standards in their evaluation protocols and reporting methodologies to provide a stronger evidence base.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-100
Number of pages16
JournalGames for health journal
Volume8
Issue number2
Early online date25 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright
owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study,
without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

Keywords

  • Board games
  • Health education
  • Meta-analysis
  • Psychoeducation
  • Serious games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Board Games for Health: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this