Effectiveness of board game activities for reducing depression among older adults in adult day care centers of Taiwan: a quasi-experimental study

Soc Work Health Care. 2020 Oct-Dec;59(9-10):725-737. doi: 10.1080/00981389.2020.1842576. Epub 2020 Nov 2.


Depression is common in older adults and is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. To clarify the possible roles of board game use in psychosomatic health promotion, this study evaluated the effects of board game activities in reducing depression in older adults. This was a quasi-experimental study. Purposive sampling was used to select 150 participants aged 65 years and above with intact mental functions who were currently residing in adult day care centers. Seventy-five participants who participated in 12 sessions of selected board game activities were assigned to the experimental group, and 75 participants who adhered to their ordinary activities were allocated to the control group. Structured questionnaires were used for data collection. The board game activities showed promising effects on the depression levels of the investigated older adults living in adult day care centers. Therefore, one possible beneficial effect of board game activities may be reduced depression in older adults. The results of this study provide support for the mediating role of board game activities in the mental health of long-term care elders. Incorporating board game activities into social work may help to make it more diverse and innovative.

Keywords: Effects; adult day care centers; board game; depression; older adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adult Day Care Centers*
  • Aged
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Games, Recreational / psychology*
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods*
  • Geriatric Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Taiwan