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Acceptability of a Plasticity Focused Serious Game Intervention for PTSD: A User Requirements Analysis

Jones, M., Owen, T., Denisova, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1497-5808 & Mitchell, S. (2019). Acceptability of a Plasticity Focused Serious Game Intervention for PTSD: A User Requirements Analysis. JMIR Serious Games, 7(2), article number e11909. doi: 10.2196/11909


Trauma-focussed CBT (TF-CBT) is a first line treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. Despite a solid evidence base, TF-CBT response and attrition rates vary considerably. Plasticity focused interventions, including the use of serious games, have the potential to improve TF-CBT response and treatment retention.

The aim of this study was assess the acceptability of a smartphone delivered plasticity focused serious game to improve response to TF-CBT for PTSD; and to carry out a user requirements analysis should development of a prototype be warranted.

We conducted two one-to-one interviews (n = 2);one focus group involving service users who had received a diagnosis of PTSD (n = 3); and one focus group involving psychological trauma service clinicians (n = 4).

We found that the concept of a plasticity focused smartphone intervention for PTSD is acceptable to patients and clinicians. Service users and clinicians both believed that usage should be guided by a therapist, and both contributed useful input regarding the audiovisual aspects of the proposed serious game. It was accepted that the game would not be suitable for all patients, and that clinicians would need to appropriately prescribe usage of the game.

Our findings highlight the acceptability of the proposed serious game and clarify the user requirements for such an intervention. It is the intention of the authors to carry out a user experience evaluation using a prototype serious game in a clinical population.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
SWORD Depositor:
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