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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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Background: Communication and interpersonal skills for general practitioners in medical consultations play an important role in providing high-quality health care, and in establishing good doctor-pati...
Background: Communication and interpersonal skills for general practitioners in medical consultations play an important role in providing high-quality health care, and in establishing good doctor-patient relationships. Serious games are a good vector to enforce simulation exercises to develop effective communication strategies. In such games the learner plays the role of a health care provider and the patient is simulated by a computer program. Objective: The purpose of this study is to develop a dialogue engine that can simulate a doctor-patient dialogue during a consultation encounter process. Methods: We define a model of the medical consultation process and of the patient profile and use ontologies to feed a dialog engine Results: The proposed model is called the medical consultation process model (MCPM) and is implemented with an ontology called MSCOnto (Medical Consultation Session Ontology) and described in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) syntax. We explain the architecture and workflow of the dialogue engine and show how the engine can be set up to define different types of patient profiles, and to generate conversations depending on doctor choices. Conclusions: The model allows the representation of the processes and actors of a medical consultation. Processes are break down into phases, micro-sequences, dialogues session and phrases. Patient profiles and exchanged information can also be expressed. Tests have shown that the presented work lays the foundation of a system able to generate a realistic dialogue between a doctor and a patient.
Background: An estimated 50% of adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with HIV are failing to adhere to prescribed antiretroviral treatment (ART). Digital games are effective in chronic disease ma...
Background: An estimated 50% of adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with HIV are failing to adhere to prescribed antiretroviral treatment (ART). Digital games are effective in chronic disease management; however, research on gaming to improve ART adherence among AYA is limited. Objective: We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of videogaming to improve AYA ART adherence. Methods: Focus group discussions (FGDs) and surveys were administered to healthcare providers and AYA aged 13-24 years living with HIV at a pediatric HIV program in Washington, DC. During FGDs, AYA viewed demonstrations of three game prototypes linked to portable Wisepill medication dispensers. Content analysis strategies and thematic coding were used to identify adherence themes and gaming acceptance and feasibility. Likert scale and descriptive statistics were used to summarize response frequencies. Results: Providers (n=10) identified common adherence barriers and strategies, including use of gaming analogies to improve AYA ART adherence. Providers supported exploration of digital gaming as an adherence intervention. Six FGDs with 12 AYA identified disclosure of HIV status and irregular daily schedules as major barriers to ART and use of alarms and pillboxes as reminders. Most AYA were "very or somewhat likely" to use the demonstrated game prototypes to help with ART adherence and desired challenging, individually-tailored, user-friendly games with in-game incentives. Game prototypes were modified accordingly. Conclusions: AYA and their providers supported the use of digital games for ART adherence support. Individualization and in-game incentives were preferable and informed the design of an interactive technology-based adherence intervention among AYA living with HIV.
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.