A Scoping Review of Digital Gaming Research Involving Older Adults Aged 85 and Older

Marston, Hannah R.; Freeman, Shannon; Bishop, Kristen A. and Beech, Christian L. (2016). A Scoping Review of Digital Gaming Research Involving Older Adults Aged 85 and Older. Games for Health Journal, 5(3) pp. 157–174.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/g4h.2015.0087

URL: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/g4h.2...


Background: Interest in the use of digital game technologies by older adults is growing across disciplines from health and gerontology to computer science and game studies. The objective of this scoping review was to examine research evidence involving the oldest old (persons 85 years of age or greater) and digital game technology.

Materials and Methods: PubMed, CINHAL, and Scopus were searched, and 46 articles were included in this review.

Results: Results highlighted that 60 percent of articles were published in gerontological journals, whereas only 8.7 percent were published in computer science journals. No studies focused directly on the oldest old population. Few studies included sample sizes greater than 100 participants. Seven primary and 34 secondary themes were identified, of which Hardware Technology and Assessment were the most common.

Conclusions: Existing evidence demonstrates the paucity of studies engaging older adults 85 years of age and above regarding the use of digital gaming and highlights a new understudied cohort for further research focus. Recommendations for future research include intentional recruitment and proportionate representation of participants ≥85 years of age, large sample sizes, and explicit mention of specific numbers of participants ≥85 years of age, which are necessary to advance knowledge in this area. Integrating a rigorous and robust mixed-methods approach including theoretical perspectives would lend itself to further in-depth understanding and knowledge generation in this field.

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