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Current state and trends of the research in exergames for the elderly and their impact on health outcomes: a scoping review

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In recent years there has been significant interest in assessing the impact of exergames on the healthcare of older adults. This scoping review aims to present an overview of the current state and trends of clinical studies conducted to determine the benefits of using exergames for healthy aging between 2000 and 2019. We included original studies published in English that use exergames to address common diseases associated with subjects over 60 years. The search was conducted in major electronic databases (PubMed, IEEE Xplore Digital Library, Web of Science, ACM Digital Library, and Scopus). At least two reviewers analyzed articles independently based on the inclusion criteria and a pre-defined taxonomy to extract information. Abstracted information was summarized in tables and analyzed by publication date using temporal plots and thematic analysis. A total of 4502 potentially relevant studies were identified and assessed to select 130 articles for analysis. Most studies were randomized controlled trials (70) published in journals (119), in the medical or biological area (101), with the aim of treatment (118), addressing mobility-related conditions (87). Most studies used videogame consoles (56) and commercial games (81). We detected a change in the trend of research with an increasing interest in neurological or mental-related conditions after 2017, accompanied by reports of positive results. Consequently, this represents an important area to continue exploring. We found an opportunity to conduct further analysis and studies to support the benefit of exergaming on improving medical outcomes and their long-term effects.

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This research did not receive any specific grant from public, commercial, or not-for-profit funding agencies.


The authors did not receive support from any organization for the submitted work. The authors have no relevant financial or non-financial interests to disclose.

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Correspondence to Alberto Isaac Perez-Sanpablo.

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López-Nava, I.H., Rodriguez, M.D., García-Vázquez, J.P. et al. Current state and trends of the research in exergames for the elderly and their impact on health outcomes: a scoping review. J Ambient Intell Human Comput 14, 10977–11009 (2023).

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