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Game and Simulation-Based Healthcare Learning Research Roundup

Here at AppClinic, we specialize in creating cutting-edge digital games and applications for healthcare and veterinary learners. None of this would be possible, however, if our methods of game and simulation-based training weren’t backed by research. Thankfully, there exist a number of studies illustrating the benefits of using games and digital simulations as healthcare learning tools. Check out our roundup of research studies, then contact us if you’d like to learn more about how to incorporate games and simulations in your program or institution!

An Effective Game-Based Learning Intervention for Improving Melanoma Recognition
Amit Sharma, MD; Muneeb Ilyas, BSc; Nishita Maganty, MPH; Nan Zhang, MS; and Mark R. Pittelkow, MD

In an effort to arm the general public with a better understanding of early features of malignant melanomas (MMs), this study examined the effectiveness of a game-based learning tool designed to teach users to identify early signs of MMs. Using a custom-developed called Tapamole, study participants were taught to recognize features of MMs using pattern recognition activities prior to taking a brief test to assess their learning. Following the study, 87% of participants reported preferring the online health education game over printed health education pamphlets for learning, and those who played the game had dramatically improved sensitivity and accuracy for recognizing MMs compared to other study participants who did not participate in the game intervention.

The Impact of Specially Designed Digital Games-Based Learning in Undergraduate Pathology and Medical Education
Rani Kanthan, MBBS, MS, FRCS, FRCPC, MEd; Jenna-Lynn Senger, BSc

Using a custom-made digital learning game called Path to Success, this study aimed to examine the effectiveness of game-based learning for undergraduate pathology medicine learners. Using a study group comprised of nearly 200 first- and second-year students, this study found that the implementation of game-based learning in first-year pathology Medicine 102 and second-year pathology Medicine 102 courses was associated with improved academic performance among learners, with students also reporting increased satisfaction and engagement.

Learning While Having Fun: The Use of Video Gaming to Teach Geriatric House Calls to Medical Students
Gustavo Duque, MD, PhD; Shek Fung MD; Louise Mallet, PharmD; Nancy Posel, RN; David Fleiszer, MD

Published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, this article highlights a study in which fourth-year medical students were taught to perform effective in-home patient visits using a custom-made learning game. In the game, students visited a simulated depiction of a home and were tasked with identifying various risk factors that could lead to falls or other harmful patient outcomes. Results showed that students who played the game found the game to be highly engaging, a characteristic that is often associated with improved knowledge and retention among learners. Player feedback on the game was also highly positive, with several participants reporting that they enjoyed the game’s innovative approach to teaching home visit best practices.

James LaPierre