Older adults' experiences of implementing exergaming programs: a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis

Hongting Ning, Dian Jiang, Yan Du, Xiaoyang Li, Hongyu Zhang, Linan Wu, Xi Chen, Weihong Wang, Jundan Huang, Hui Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: this study sought to systematically review and synthesize qualitative data to explore older adult exergame experiences and perceptions. Methods: a comprehensive search was conducted in seven databases from the earliest available date to May 2022. All qualitative and mixed-method studies available in English and explored exergame experiences in older adults were included. Tools from the Joanna Briggs Institute were used for data extraction and synthesis. Data were extracted using the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation Model of Behaviour (COM-B model) as a guide, and a pragmatic meta-aggregative approach was applied to synthesize the findings. Results: this systematic review identified 128 findings and aggregated 9 categories from the 10 qualitative research articles included, and three synthesized findings were: older adult capability, opportunities in the exergaming program and motivation in the exergaming program. Capability consisted of attitude toward exergames, age- or health-related impairments and exergame knowledge and skills. Opportunities included older adult-friendly exergame design and social influence. Motivation included self-efficacy, support, instruction and feedback, health benefits, as well as unpleasant exergaming experiences. Conclusions: it is crucial to tailor the exergaming program to suit the older population. We identified barriers and facilitators of implementing exergaming in older adults and found most barriers are surmountable. The results of the current systematic review could provide evidence for the design and implementation of exergaming programs among older adults. The ConQual score of the synthesized findings was assessed as low. Dependability and credibility should be accounted for in future studies to increase confidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberafac251
JournalAge and ageing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


  • exergaming
  • experience
  • older adult
  • qualitative meta-synthesis
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Aging


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