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The SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital takes part in a study on the effects of video games on children with ADHD

20 February 2018

This research will analyse the effects of gaming in real and virtual settings throughout Europe.

This year, researchers at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital will be participating in a European project to study the effects of gaming (so-called gamification) on patients diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim is to determine whether video games alleviate certain ADHD symptoms and, consequently, improve patients’ skills.
In the study, which is called FocusLocus, patients will undergo various experiences through gaming, in their everyday lives, in both the virtual and physical settings. In the virtual setting, patients will participate in individual games, at home and using digital devices, such as mobiles or tablets.

Participants can also take part in a multisensory mixed reality game mode, designed to be tested in hospitals, health centres and special needs schools, supervised by experts. This mode will be developed using sophisticated technological equipment which will offer patients an immersive gaming experiences based on augmented reality as well as tangible and natural user interactions.
The aim in both gaming variants is to collect information on neuronal activity from each patient using electroencephalography (EEG) technology.
The project includes a pilot phase with 10 patients from the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital and the Centros de Salud Mental Infantil y Juvenil (CSMIJ) [Child and Adolescent Mental Healthcare Centres] in Mollet del Vallés and Vilanova, which will be performed before next summer, while the main study will include 80 patients between September and October 2018.

FocusLocus is an innovation action project led by a consortium of partners from different EU countries aimed at developing a gamified programme to help patients with ADHD improve their skills.

The study is led by the psychologist, Jordi Navarra, who has extensive experience studying certain cerebral functions, such as perception and attention. His most notable projects include the application of computer-based methods to improve clinical care, in areas such as psychology and psychiatry, at the SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital.

The SJD Foundation’s research into child and adolescent mental health currently focuses on the study of childhood psychosis, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, autistic spectrum disorders and on addressing eating disorders in cancer patients.