How Does Gameplaying Support Values and Psychological Well-Being among Cancer Survivors?

Diane B. Francis, Maria Leonora G. Comello, Laura Heisner Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: This qualitative study examined the extent to which playing recreational computer games and videogames is perceived by cancer survivors as supporting personal values. Values serve as behavioral guides and may thus impact health outcomes; therefore activities that have the potential to support values deserve further attention so their role in promoting health may be better understood. Materials and Methods: We asked a sample of survivors who play recreational games (n = 73) open-ended questions about the types of recreational games they play, about something they really value in life, and the extent to which playing games supports the value. Data analysis used a grounded theory approach, supported by computer-assisted qualitative analysis software. Results: Three major themes emerged linking gameplaying to survivors' values: the need to create and maintain social connections, the desire to help others, and the need to experience alternate realities (including escape and exploration). Conclusions: The present study offers a unique perspective by focusing on the intersection of values and gameplay among survivors. The findings suggest that playing recreational computer games and videogames may be congruent with survivors' personal values and may have potential to influence positive health outcomes among survivors. The findings have implications for developing effective values-based interventions for cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2016.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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