A Motion Videogame for Opioid Relapse Prevention

Lorien C. Abroms, Leah E. Leavitt, Judy M. Van Alstyne, Jennifer M. Schindler-Ruwisch, Marc J. Fishman, Daniel Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined the feasibility and acceptability of a body motion-activated videogame, targeting the prevention of opioid relapse among youth in the context of outpatient treatment. Materials and Methods: Participants attended four weekly gameplay sessions. Surveys were conducted at baseline and following each week's gameplay and assessed satisfaction with gameplay, craving intensity, and self-efficacy to refuse opioids. Results: Participants expressed a high level of satisfaction with the videogame throughout the 4 weeks and agreed with the statement that they would be more likely to attend treatment sessions if the game was present (mean=4.6; standard deviation [SD]=0.7) and would recommend the videogame to other people in treatment (mean=4.2; SD=0.8). All participants recommended playing the videogame as part of treatment at least weekly, with a third recommending playing daily. Self-reported cravings declined over the 4-week period from baseline (mean=12.7; SD=8.4) to Week 4 (mean=9.8; SD=8.3), although the decline was not significant. Although participants stated that they liked the game, one-third of participants had dropped out of the study by the fourth session of gameplay. Conclusions: Preliminary evidence indicates that a motion videogame for addiction recovery may be feasible and acceptable within the context of outpatient treatment, although additional efforts are needed to keep youth in treatment. Future studies are needed to assess the impact of the game on long-term abstinence, treatment adherence, and engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-501
Number of pages8
JournalGames for Health Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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