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A multidisciplinary journal on gaming and gamification including simulation and immersive virtual reality for health education/promotion, teaching and social change.
JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279) is a sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), one of the most cited journals in health informatics (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175). JSG has a projected inofficial impact factor (2016) of 3.32 and will have an official impact factor 2017 (to be released by Clarivate Analytics mid-2018). JSG is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer/web/mobile/augmented and virtual reality applications that incorporate elements of gaming to solve serious problems such as health education/promotion, teaching and education, or social change.
The journal also considers commentary and research in the fields of video games violence and video games addiction.
JMIR Serious Games is indexed in Pubmed, PubMed Central, and in Clarivate/Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE).
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Video gamers are a population at heightened risk of developing obesity due to the sedentary nature of gaming, increased energy intake and the disruption caused to their sleep. This increases their ris...
Video gamers are a population at heightened risk of developing obesity due to the sedentary nature of gaming, increased energy intake and the disruption caused to their sleep. This increases their risk of developing a number of non-communicable diseases. To date, research seeking to improve health behaviours has focussed on developing novel video games to promote behaviour change. Although positive results have emerged from this research, the success has been limited due to the lack of transferability to more mainstream games and the focus on children and adolescents. However, the gaming community has a number of unique aspects which, in comparison to the development of new video games, have received less attention. Research has found that advertising can have implicit effects on individual’s memories which could influence their later decisions. Yet the effect of the exponential growth of in-game advertisements, and brand sponsorship of gaming events and professional gamers, has not been explored in the gaming community. Nor has the possibility of using advertising techniques to encourage positive health behaviours within games or at these events. Research suggests that virtual communities can be effective at disseminating health information, but the efficacy of this needs to be explored utilising known community influencers within the gaming community. The purpose of this paper is to highlight these under-researched areas that have the potential to encourage positive health behaviour among this community.
Background: Exercise and physical activity are key components of treatment for chronic respiratory diseases. However, physical activity levels and adherence to exercise programs is low in people with...
Background: Exercise and physical activity are key components of treatment for chronic respiratory diseases. However, physical activity levels and adherence to exercise programs is low in people with these diseases. Active video games (AVG) may provide a more engaging alternative to traditional forms of exercise. Objective: This review examines the effectiveness of game-based interventions on physiological outcome measures, as well as adherence and enjoyment, in subjects with chronic respiratory diseases. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted, with full-texts and abstracts included where they involved an AVG intervention for participants diagnosed with respiratory conditions. A narrative synthesis of included studies was performed. In addition, meta-analysis comparing AVGs to traditional exercise was undertaken for four outcome measures: mean heart rate (HR) during exercise, peripheral blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) during exercise, dyspnoea induced by the exercise and enjoyment of the exercise. Results: A total of 13 full-text articles corresponding to 12 studies were included in the review. Interventions predominantly used games released for the Nintendo WiiTM (eight studies) and Microsoft Xbox KinectTM (three studies). Trials conducted over more than one session varied in duration between 3 and 12 weeks. In these, AVG interventions were associated with either similar or slightly greater improvements in outcomes such as exercise capacity when compared a traditional exercise control and also generally demonstrated improvements over baseline or non-intervention comparators. There were few studies of unsupervised AVG interventions, but these reported adherence was high and maintained throughout the intervention period. In addition, AVGs were generally reported to be well-liked and considered feasible by participants. For outcome measures measured during a single exercise session, there was no significant difference between AVGs and traditional exercise for HR (mean difference=1.44 beats per minute, 95% CI (confidence interval) [-14.31, 17.18]), SpO2 (mean difference=1.12 percentage points, 95% CI [-1.91, 4.16]) and dyspnoea (mean difference=0.43 Borg units, 95% CI [-0.79, 1.66]), but AVGs were significantly more enjoyable than traditional exercise (standardised mean difference=1.36, (95% CI [0.04, 2.68]). Conclusions: This review provides evidence that AVG interventions, undertaken for several weeks, can provide similar or greater improvements in exercise capacity and other outcomes as traditional exercise. Within a single session of cardiovascular exercise, AVGs can evoke similar physiological responses as traditional exercise modalities but are more enjoyable to subjects with chronic respiratory diseases. However, there is very limited evidence for adherence and effectiveness in long-term unsupervised trials, which should be the focus of future research.
Background: Shared decision making involves the formation of a collaborative partnership between the patient and clinician, combining both of their expertise in order to benefit decision making. In or...
Background: Shared decision making involves the formation of a collaborative partnership between the patient and clinician, combining both of their expertise in order to benefit decision making. In order for clinicians to be able to carry out this skilled task, they require practice. Virtual reality, in the form of a virtual patient could offer a potential method of facilitating this. Objective: The objective of this work was to create a virtual patient that simulated a primary care consultation, affording the opportunity to practice shared decision making. A second aim was to involve patients in the design of a virtual patient simulation and report the process of the design. Methods: A multi-step design process drawing on patient and expert involvement. Results: A virtual patient, following a narrative style has been built which allows a user to practice and receive feedback; both clinical and communication skills are required for the simulation. The patient group provided multiple insights which the academic team had overlooked. They pertained mostly to issues concerning the patient experience. Conclusions: It is possible to design a virtual patient that allows a learner to practice their ability to conduct shared decision making. Patient input into the design of virtual patient simulations can be a worthwhile activity.
Background: In recent years, drug prevention networks and drug education programs started to utilize web-based or smartphone applications as novel prevention tools, testing their efficacy as compared...
Background: In recent years, drug prevention networks and drug education programs started to utilize web-based or smartphone applications as novel prevention tools, testing their efficacy as compared to face-to-face prevention. Objective: Our study aimed to assess potentials of an interactive application called Once Upon a High (VoltEgySzer). Methods: Students of two vocational and two high schools filled in a questionnaire at a baseline (T0) and a two month follow-up (T1) data collection session. Students of one vocational (VS1) and one high school (HS1) downloaded the Once Upon a High app (app group), whereas students from the other vocational (VS2) and high school (HS2) did not (non-app group). T0 and T1 questionnaires contained demographic variables, items regarding substance use characteristics with regard to both legal and illegal substances, including novel psychoactive substances (NPS), exercise habits, knowledge about psychoactive substances, attitudes toward substance users and validated instruments measuring the severity of tobacco (Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence), alcohol (AUDIT), cannabis (CAST) and synthetic cannabinoid (sCAST) consumption. Beliefs about substance use (BASA) and perceived self-efficacy (GSE) were also measured. At T1, members of the app group provided additional evaluation of the application. Results: 386 students participated in T0 session and followed by a drop-out, 246 students took part in T1 data collection procedure. Alcohol was the most frequently consumed psychoactive substance (92.1% lifetime use), followed by tobacco (68% lifetime use) and cannabis (13.2% lifetime use). Synthetic cannabinoids were the most commonly used NPS (7.2%). Decreased self-efficacy (Beta= -0.29, p<0.05) and increased daily physical exercise frequencies (Beta= 0.04, p<0.001) predicted higher frequencies of past month energy drink consumption, whereas elevated past month alcohol consumption was mainly predicted by a decrease in negative attitudes toward substance users (Beta= -0.13, p<0.05). Once Upon a High was found to be effective in increasing a) knowledge about the risks of psychoactive substances and b) perceived self-efficacy but not in reducing substance use. The roleplay module of the application was found to be the most preferred and beneficial aspect of the app. Conclusions: Once Upon a High app can be a useful tool to assist preventive intervention programs by increasing knowledge and self-efficacy, however, its efficacy in reducing or preventing substance use needs to be improved and further studied. Additional potentials of the app need testing.
Background: Adequate delirium recognition and management is important in order to reduce the incidence and severity of delirium. To improve delirium recognition and management, training of medical sta...
Background: Adequate delirium recognition and management is important in order to reduce the incidence and severity of delirium. To improve delirium recognition and management, training of medical staff and students is needed. Objective: In this study, we aimed to gain insight in whether the serious game Delirium Experience is suited as an educational intervention. Methods: We performed a three-arm randomized controlled trial. This study included 156 students in the third year of their Bachelor of Medical Sciences at the University Medical Centre Groningen. The Game Group of this study played Delirium Experience. The Control D Group watched a video with explanation on delirium and a patient experience of delirious episodes. The Control A Group watched a video on healthy ageing. To investigate students’ skills we used a video of a delirious patient for which students had to give care recommendations, and complete the Delirium Observations Screening Scale and Delirium Rating Scale R-98. Furthermore, students completed the Delirium Attitude Scale, the Learning Motivation and Engagement Questionnaire, and self-reported knowledge on delirium. Results: In total, 156 students participated in this study, 51 in the Game Group, 51in the Control D Group and 55 in the Control A Group. The Game Group scored higher (median (Inter Quartile Range (IQR)) 6(4-8)) on given recommendations and learning motivation and engagement compared to the Control D (1(1-4)) and A (0(0-3))Groups (P<.001). Furthermore, the Game Group (7(6-8)) scored higher on self-reported knowledge compared to the Control A Group (6(5-6)) (P<.001). We did not find differences between the groups regarding delirium screening (P=.07) and rating (P=.45) skills or attitude towards delirious patients (P=.55). Conclusions: The serious game Delirium Experience is suited as an educational intervention to teach delirium care to medical students and has added value on top of a lecture.