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Pokémon Go may improve psychological distress

28 Sep 2017
Playing Pokémon GO, a mobile game application, appears to yield benefits to the mental health of adult workers in Japan, a new retrospective cohort study has shown. Moreover, the game may also help in improving psychological distress.

In the study sample of 2,530 workers, who had accomplished both the baseline and the follow-up online self-report questionnaires, after the game’s release, 9.7 percent (n=246; mean age 37.09±10.85 years) had continued playing the game for longer than 1 month. Those who refused to respond for unknown reasons and who had lost their jobs were excluded.

Generalized linear models revealed a significant effect of time on psychological distress (p=0.025) where distress improved over time. Participants who remained playing showed greater improvements (baseline estimated mean 42.00±0.64; follow-up estimated mean 39.86±0.67) compared with those who discontinued play (baseline estimated mean 40.38±0.21; follow-up estimated mean 40.40±0.22).

On the other hand, time had no significant effect on the secondary outcomes of physical complaints (p=0.447) and work performance (p=0.377).

However, despite being statistically insignificant, continued Pokémon GO play yielded improvements in physical complaints (estimated means from baseline to follow-up 20.85±0.43 to 20.32±0.45) and reductions in work performance (estimated means from baseline to follow-up 59.70±1.13 to 57.87±1.14).

The Cohen’s d values, at 95 percent CI, of psychological distress, physical complaints and work performance were -0.20 (-0.33 to -0.07), -0.07 (-0.20 to 0.07) and -0.07 (-0.21 to 0.06), respectively, confirming the relatively higher significance of psychological distress.

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Most Read Articles
3 days ago
Combining the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet with low sodium intake reduces systolic blood pressure (SBP) in individuals with pre- and stage 1 hypertension, with progressively higher reductions at greater levels of baseline SBP, a recent study has shown.
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