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Tailoring virtual environments of an exergame for physiotherapy: the role of positive distractions and sensation-seeking

Reis, E.R. ; Arriaga, P.A. ; Lima, L. L. ; Teixeira, L. ; Postolache, O. ; Postolache, G.

Psyecology Vol. 1, Nº 1, pp. 1 - 16, September, 2019.

ISSN (print): 1989-9386
ISSN (online): 2171-1976

Scimago Journal Ranking: 0,51 (in 2019)

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1080/21711976.2019.1643989

Recent findings have shown that exergames can facilitate physiotherapy. Environmental conditions, such as the inclusion of positive distractions, also seem to play a role in health recovery, but prior studies have never
analysed their role in virtual environments. In this study we developed an
exergame for the exercise of upper limbs by designing virtual environments
with nature elements and testing the impact of including additional positive
distractions. Participants (n = 124, 81 females) were randomly assigned to one
of two virtual environments: positive distractions vs. no distractions. To test
whether these two environments matched the users’ characteristics, sensationseeking was examined as a moderator. Measures of affect, sense of presence,
intrinsic motivation and vitality were applied after the sessions, and game
performance was assessed. Results showed that both environments were
positively evaluated for all the dependent variables, regardless of the positive
distractions and the sensation-seeking traits.