Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Co-designing a mobile gamified attention bias modification intervention for substance use disorders : participatory research study
Authors: Zhang, Melvyn
Heng, Sandor
Song, Guo
Fung, Daniel Shuen Sheng
Smith, Helen Elizabeth
Keywords: Science::Medicine
Issue Date: 2019
Source: Zhang, M., Heng, S., Song, G., Fung, D. S. S., & Smith, H. E. (2019). Co-designing a mobile gamified attention bias modification intervention for substance use disorders : participatory research study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 7(10), e15871-. doi:10.2196/15871
Journal: JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Abstract: Background: Advances in experimental psychology have highlighted the need to modify underlying automatic cognitive biases, such as attentional biases. The effectiveness of bias modification has been well studied for substance use disorders. With recent advances in technology, it is now possible to work outside the laboratory with Web-based and mobile-based attention bias interventions. Gamification technologies might also help diminish the repetitiveness of the task and increase the intrinsic motivation to train. The inconsistent findings of the impact of gaming on the effectiveness of mobile interventions call for further work to better understand the needs of patients (users) and health care professionals. Objective: The aim of this study was to involve patients, together with health care professionals, in the design of a gamified mobile attention bias modification intervention for substance use disorders. Methods: The participatory design research method adopted is that of a user-oriented design approach in the form of a future workshop. In the first phase of the workshop, participants shared their critique of an attention bias modification intervention. In the second phase of the workshop, participants were asked to brainstorm features. Participants were also shown gamification approaches and asked to consider if gaming elements could enhance the existing app. In the last phase, participants were asked to sketch a new prototype. Results: Three co-design workshops were conducted with health care professionals, inpatients, and outpatients. There were 20 participants, consisting of 10 health care professionals and 10 patients. When asked to identify the limitations in the existing app, common issues identified were those of the design, visual probe task, and the included images. Outpatients were also concerned with the safety of administration of the intervention. In the brainstorming sessions, health care professionals made recommendations as to how the stimulus, the mechanism of responding, and the presentation of the scores could be enhanced. Inpatient participants recommended the addition of functionalities, such as information on the harms associated with the substance use, and for there to be enhancements in the design, images, and task. Outpatient participants perceived a need to improve the images and presentation of the results and recommended the inclusion of gaming features. There were differences in opinion on the inclusion of gaming features, as only health care professionals endorsed their inclusion. In the last phase of the workshop, participants were tasked with the conceptualization of prototypes, and the commonality in the design was for a gradual shortening of the interval for stimulus/image presentation. Conclusions: The results from this research will guide the development of an app that meets the specific needs of patients and is still based on a pre-existing validated task paradigm.  
ISSN: 2291-5222
DOI: 10.2196/15871
Rights: © 2019 Melvyn Wb Zhang, Sandor Heng, Guo Song, Daniel SS Fung, Helen E Smith. Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth ( This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR mhealth and uhealth, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

Citations 20

Updated on Jan 31, 2023

Web of ScienceTM
Citations 20

Updated on Jan 29, 2023

Page view(s)

Updated on Feb 5, 2023

Download(s) 50

Updated on Feb 5, 2023

Google ScholarTM




Items in DR-NTU are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.