Feb 17, 2012, 12:26 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team
The Pioneer Portfolio is committed to supporting trailblazers who are changing the way we think about health and health care. Debra Lieberman, PhD, director of Health Games Research, a national program of Pioneer and headquartered at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is breaking ground by using health games to transform the way prevention, self-care, and health care are practiced.
The February 9 issue of Inside Healthcare IT profiles Lieberman’s research on how video games can be used to improve players’ health behaviors and health outcomes, and thereby reduce the cost of care. After two decades of research on games that improve health behaviors in areas such as smoking prevention, diabetes self-management and asthma self-management, she has found that some games can have a dramatic impact on health.
“Video games can change people in fundamental ways that can lead to better health behaviors,” Lieberman said in the article. “Well-designed games can change people’s perceived risk for experiencing serious health problems, their sense of self-efficacy, or self-confidence, that they can carry out specific health behaviors successfully, and their perceptions of social norms. These and many other changes in people’s attitudes, emotions, understanding, and skills can tip the balance toward behavior change. While games can be fun and can teach health facts, they can do a great deal more to motivate and support better health.”