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Journal Description

JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279; Impact Factor: 3.351) is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer/web/virtual reality/mobile applications that incorporate elements of gaming, gamification or novel hardware platforms such as virtual reality headsets or Microsoft Kinect to solve serious problems such as health behavior change, physical exercise promotion (exergaming), medical rehabilitation, diagnosis and treatment of psychological/psychiatric disorders, medical education, health 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.

The journal is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, and SCIE/Web of Science, and JCR (Journal Citation Reports) where it received an official impact factor by Clarivate. In June 2019, JSG received an impact factor of 3.351, ranking JSG at the top of all gaming-related academic journals, ahead of (for example) more established competitor journals such as the Games for Health Journal. 


Recent Articles:

  • Career & Technical Education Emerging Health Professionals Program Students. Source: Precious Petty, Public Relations Coordinator Lehigh Career & Technical Institute; Copyright: Lehigh Career & Technical Institute; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Learner Analysis to Inform the Design and Development of a Serious Game for Nongaming Female Emerging Health Care Preprofessionals: Qualitative Sample Study


    Background: Overall, 75% of health care practitioners are women, but half of all females do not play digital games of any kind. There is no consensus in the literature regarding optimal design elements to maximize the efficacy of serious games. To capitalize on the promise of serious games in health care education, it is important for instructional designers to understand the underlying learners’ values, attitudes, and beliefs that might motivate nongaming female health care preprofessional students to independently choose to persistently play serious games to mastery. Objective: Specifically, the aim of this study was to seek answers to 2 questions. First, what values, attitudes, and beliefs contribute to the nongaming behaviors of 12th-grade female emerging health care preprofessionals? Second, how do the values, attitudes, and beliefs of 12th-grade female emerging health care preprofessionals align with important design features of serious games? Methods: In this study, a learner analysis was conducted using semistructured interviews with 8 12th-grade college-bound female health science students to better understand learners’ values, attitudes, and beliefs to inform the design and development of a serious game. These interviewees represented a diverse subset of the female emerging health care preprofessionals who self-identified themselves as not playing games at all, not very often, or infrequently. Results: The findings suggest that the study participants exhibited a complex fusion of desire for both accomplishment and affiliation. The participants were all independent, competitive, and prosocial leaders. They thought strategically and consciously self-limited their leisure time to achieve personally meaningful long-term goals. They embraced overcoming expected failures and aimed to achieve relevant high-stakes wins in all academic, athletic, extracurricular, and leisure activities they valued while consciously avoiding what they considered to be non–goal-oriented activities. Conclusions: The results of this study reinforce the need for a robust learner analysis to identify the multifaceted behavioral characteristics of targeted learners before the design and development of serious games. The common characteristics of the 12th-grade female health science students in this study suggest that they will choose to invest their limited leisure time playing a personally meaningful, preprofessionally authentic serious game if the collective design elements are aligned with the students’ self-conceptualization of their present or future selves.

  • Source: Naseem Ahmadpour; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Design Strategies for Virtual Reality Interventions for Managing Pain and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents: Scoping Review


    Background: Virtual reality (VR) technology has been explored in the health sector as a novel tool for supporting treatment side effects, including managing pain and anxiety. VR has recently become more available with the launch of low-cost devices and apps. Objective: This study aimed to provide an updated review of the research into VR use for pain and anxiety in pediatric patients undergoing medical procedures. Specifically, we wanted to gain an understanding of the techniques and goals used in selecting or designing VR apps in this context. Methods: We performed a scoping review. To identify relevant studies, we searched three electronic databases. Two authors screened the titles and abstracts for relevance and eligibility criteria. Results: Overall, 1386 articles published between 2013 and 2018 were identified. In total 18 articles were included in the review, with 7 reporting significant reduction in pediatric pain or anxiety, 3 testing but finding no significant impact of the VR apps employed, and the rest not conducting any test of significance. We identified 9 articles that were based on VR apps specifically designed and tailored for pediatric patients. The findings were analyzed to develop a holistic model and describe the product, experience, and intervention aspects that need to be considered in designing such medical VR apps. Conclusions: VR has been demonstrated to be a viable choice for managing pain and anxiety in a range of medical treatments. However, commercial products lack diversity and meaningful design strategies are limited beyond distraction techniques. We propose future VR interventions to explore skill-building goals in apps characterized by dynamic feedback to the patient and experiential and product qualities that enable them to be an active participant in managing their own care. To achieve this, design must be part of the development.

  • Source: The Authors/ Placeit; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Engaging African American Youth in the Development of a Serious Mobile Game for Sexual Health Education: Mixed Methods Study


    Background: Although teen pregnancy rates decreased dramatically in the United States over the past decade, the rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents and young adults increased. STI rates disproportionately affect African American youth and young adults. Innovative, accessible, and culturally relevant sexual health interventions are urgently needed. Objective: This study aimed to identify the optimal modality for a game-based sexual health intervention; develop the educational, entertainment, and technological aspects of the serious game; and demonstrate its usability and acceptance by the target population. Methods: This project was grounded in formative data collection with community-based participatory research principles and practices combined with a user-centered design and development approach. Sexually Active Adolescent–Focused Education (SAAFE) was developed using input and feedback from African American youths aged 15 to 21 years who participated in a youth advisory board and focus group discussions to inform the co-design and cocreation of the serious game. The process was highly iterative with multiple sessions for user input following design changes. It proceeded in 3 stages. Social cognitive theory and problem-solving theory were leveraged to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed education through a serious game. Usability testing assessed the quality of user experience with the prototype. Results: Across all 3 stages, a total of 86 self-identified African American males and females aged 15 to 21 years from the District of Columbia and Birmingham, Alabama, participated. Participants requested a dating simulation game. They wanted SAAFE to be customizable, realistic, entertaining, educational, modern, and experiential, linking consequences to their gameplay decisions. Usability testing resulted in an initial System Usability Survey score of 77.7, placing the game in the 82nd percentile and above average for usability. Conclusions: Initial results suggest that the SAAFE prototype is a promising intervention to engage African American youth in sexual health education using a role-playing game. If proven efficacious, the game has the potential to meet the need for sex education, counterbalance unhealthy portrayals of sex in popular media, and respond to the disparities in the STI epidemic.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Thomas Sanjay Weber-Spickschen; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Improving Maximal Strength in the Initial Postoperative Phase After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery: Randomized Controlled Trial of an...


    Background: Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery is one of the most common orthopedic procedures. One of the main factors that influence the outcome is regaining strength in the postoperative phase. Because anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgeries are often performed in young patients, we combined the concept of prehabilitation with an app-based serious gaming approach to improve maximal strength postoperatively. Objective: Our objective was to conduct a prospective randomized trial to evaluate whether an app-based active muscle training program (GenuSport Knee Trainer) can improve postoperative strength by starting rehabilitation immediately after primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery. Methods: We designed a pilot study in which we randomly assigned patients receiving primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction to either the serious gaming training (intervention) group or a conventional rehabilitation (control) group. Except for the serious gaming-based training, both groups followed the same postoperative treatment protocol. Outcome parameters were absolute and relative change in maximal strength, as well as the International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee evaluation form, Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, and Lysholm Knee Score. Results: In total 26 patients agreed to participate (14 patients in the intervention group and 12 patients in the control group, 1 of whom was lost to follow-up). We noted a difference in absolute maximum strength between the exergaming intervention and the control groups. Mean maximum strength preoperatively was 155.1 (SD 79.2) N in the intervention group (n=14) and 157.0 (SD 40.8) N in the control group (n=11). Postoperative mean maximum strength was 212.8 (SD 78.5) N in the intervention group and 154.5 (SD 27.1) N in the control group. Mean absolute change in maximum strength was 57.7 (SD 95.2) N in the intervention group and –4.8 (22.2) N in the control group. The analysis of covariance model with absolute change as the dependent variable and treatment group and baseline maximum strength as covariates showed a relevant difference in relative change between treatment groups (intervention – control) of 59.7 N (95% CI 10.1-109.3; P=.02). Similarly to the absolute increase, the relative change in maximum strength was relevantly higher in the exergaming group. The mean relative change in maximum strength was 1.7 (SD 1.17) in the intervention group and 1 (SD 0.13) in the control group. No adverse events or problems were reported during the study period. Conclusions: Implementation of an app-based active muscle training program in the early postoperative therapy scheme was associated with an improvement in maximal strength. Therefore, we considered the use of GenuSport training after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction to be a helpful complement to rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery to improve strength in the early postoperative phase. To our knowledge this was the first study to analyze immediate postoperative serious gaming-based training with the GenuSport device based on strength improvement.

  • Source: The Authors/ Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    The Adoption of a Virtual Reality–Assisted Training System for Mental Rotation: A Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling Approach


    Background: Virtual reality (VR) technologies have been developed to assist education and training. Although recent research suggested that the application of VR led to effective learning and training outcomes, investigations concerning the acceptance of these VR systems are needed to better urge learners and trainees to be active adopters. Objective: This study aimed to create a theoretical model to examine how determining factors from relevant theories of technology acceptance can be used to explain the acceptance of a novel VR-assisted mental rotation (MR) training system created by our research team to better understand how to encourage learners to use VR technology to enhance their spatial ability. Methods: Stereo and interactive MR tasks based on Shepard and Metzler’s pencil and paper test for MR ability were created. The participants completed a set of MR tasks using 3D glasses and stereoscopic display and a 6-degree-of-freedom joystick controller. Following task completion, psychometric constructs from theories and previous studies (ie, perceived ease of use, perceived enjoyment, attitude, satisfaction, and behavioral intention to use the system) were used to measure relevant factors influencing behavior intentions. Results: The statistical technique of partial least squares structural equation modeling was applied to analyze the data. The model explained 47.7% of the novel, VR-assisted MR training system’s adoption intention, which suggests that the model has moderate explanatory power. Direct and indirect effects were also interpreted. Conclusions: The findings of this study have both theoretical and practical importance not only for MR training but also for other VR-assisted education. The results can extend current theories from the context of information systems to educational and training technology, specifically for the use of VR-assisted systems and devices. The empirical evidence has practical implications for educators, technology developers, and policy makers regarding MR training.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: Michael Winter; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Learning to Read by Learning to Write: Evaluation of a Serious Game to Foster Business Process Model Comprehension


    Background: The management and comprehension of business process models are of utmost importance for almost any enterprise. To foster the comprehension of such models, this paper has incorporated the idea of a serious game called Tales of Knightly Process. Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether the serious game has a positive, immediate, and follow-up impact on process model comprehension. Methods: A total of two studies with 81 and 64 participants each were conducted. Within the two studies, participants were assigned to a game group and a control group (ie, study 1), and a follow-up game group and a follow-up control group (ie, study 2). A total of four weeks separated study 1 and study 2. In both studies, participants had to answer ten comprehension questions on five different process models. Note that, in study 1, participants in the game group played the serious game before they answered the comprehension questions to evaluate the impact of the game on process model comprehension. Results: In study 1, inferential statistics (analysis of variance) revealed that participants in the game group showed a better immediate performance compared to control group participants (P<.001). A Hedges g of 0.77 also indicated a medium to large effect size. In study 2, follow-up game group participants showed a better performance compared to participants from the follow-up control group (P=.01); here, a Hedges g of 0.82 implied a large effect size. Finally, in both studies, analyses indicated that complex process models are more difficult to comprehend (study 1: P<.001; study 2: P<.001). Conclusions: Participants who played the serious game showed better performance in the comprehension of process models when comparing both studies.

  • Source: The Authors / Getty Images; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    Using 360-Degree Video as a Research Stimulus in Digital Health Studies: Lessons Learned


    Due to the accessibility of omnidirectional cameras to record 360-degree videos and the technology to view the videos via mobile phones and other devices, 360-degree videos are being used more frequently to place people in different contexts and convey health-related information. Increasingly, 360-degree videos are being employed in health marketing because they have the potential to enhance health-related attitudes and behaviors. As a case study on how this technology may be used for health-related information and its effect on health care providers, we created a 360-degree video that portrays the experience of a migraine sufferer to be used as a stimulus in an online study. We describe the challenges and lessons learned in designing and implementing a 360-degree video as part of an online experiment focused on inducing empathy among clinicians for understanding patient experience. Given the rapid change in digital technology, future research can use this knowledge to design and implement 360-degree video studies more effectively.

  • Battle in the Blood contestant at World AIDS Day Celebration in Davao 2017. Source: Charlotte Hemingway; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Development of a Mobile Game to Influence Behavior Determinants of HIV Service Uptake Among Key Populations in the Philippines: User-Centered Design Process


    Background: Opportunities in digital distribution place mobile games as a promising platform for games for health. However, designing a game that can compete in the saturated mobile games market and deliver persuasive health messages can feel like an insurmountable challenge. Although user-centered design is widely advocated, factors such as the user’s subject domain expertise, budget constraints, and poor data collection methods can restrict the benefits of user involvement. Objective: This study aimed to develop a playable and acceptable game for health, targeted at young key populations in the Philippines. Methods: Authors identified a range of user-centered design methods to be used in tandem from published literature. The resulting design process involved a phased approach, with 40 primary and secondary users engaged during the initial ideation and prototype testing stages. Selected methods included participatory design workshops, playtests, playability heuristics, and focus group discussions. Subject domain experts were allocated roles in the development team. Data were analyzed using a framework approach. Conceptual frameworks in health intervention acceptability and game design guided the analysis. In-game events were captured through the Unity Analytics service to monitor uptake and game use over a 12-month period. Results: Early user involvement revealed a strong desire for online multiplayer gameplay, yet most reported that access to this type of game was restricted because of technical and economic constraints. A role-playing game (RPG) with combat elements was identified as a very appealing gameplay style. Findings guided us to a game that could be played offline and that blended RPG elements, such as narrative and turn-based combat, with match-3 puzzles. Although the game received a positive response during playtests, gameplay was at times perceived as repetitive and predicted to only appeal to casual gamers. Knowledge transfer was predominantly achieved through interpretation of the game’s narrative, highlighting this as an important design element. Uptake of the game was positive; between December 1, 2017, and December 1, 2018, 3325 unique device installs were reported globally. Game metrics provided evidence of adoption by young key populations in the Philippines. Game uptake and use were substantially higher in regions where direct engagement with target users took place. Conclusions: User-centered design activities supported the identification of important contextual requirements. Multiple data collection methods enabled triangulation of findings to mediate the inherent biases of the different techniques. Game acceptance is dependent on the ability of the development team to implement design solutions that address the needs and desires of target users. If target users are expected to develop design solutions, they must have adequate expertise and a significant role within the development team. Facilitating meaningful partnerships between health professionals, the games industry, and end users will support the games for health industry as it matures.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Treating Children With Speech Sound Disorders: Development of a Tangible Artefact Prototype


    Background: A prototype of a tangible user interface (TUI) for a fishing game, which is intended to be used by children with speech sound disorders (SSD), speech and language therapists (SLTs), and kindergarten teachers and assistants (KTAs) and parents alike, has been developed and tested. Objective: The aim of this study was to answer the following question: How can TUIs be used as a tool to help in interventions for children with SSD? Methods: To obtain feedback and to ensure that the prototype was being developed according to the needs of the identified target users, an exploratory test was prepared and carried out. During this test using an ethnographic approach, an observation grid, a semistructured questionnaire, and interviews were used to gather data. A total of 4 different types of stakeholders (sample size of 10) tested the prototype: 2 SLTs, 2 KTAs, and 6 children. Results: The analysis of quantitative and qualitative data revealed that the prototype addresses the existing needs of SLTs and KTAs, and it revealed that 5 out of 6 (83%) children enjoyed the activity. Results also revealed a high replay value, with all children saying they would play more. Conclusions: Serious games and tangible interaction for learning and problem solving serve both teachers and children, as children enjoy playing, and, through a playful approach, learning is facilitated. A clear pattern was observed: Children enjoyed playing, and numerous valid indicators showed the transposition of the traditional game into the TUI artefact was successful. The game is varied and rich enough to be attractive and fun. There is a clear need and interest in similar objects from SLTs and educators. However, the process should be even more iterative, with a multidisciplinary team, and all end users should be able to participate as co-designers.

  • Source: The Authors / Unsplash; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Effect of Brief Biofeedback via a Smartphone App on Stress Recovery: Randomized Experimental Study


    Background: Smartphones are often vilified for negatively influencing well-being and contributing to stress. However, these devices may, in fact, be useful in times of stress and, in particular, aid in stress recovery. Mobile apps that deliver evidence-based techniques for stress reduction, such as heart rate variability biofeedback (HRVB) training, hold promise as convenient, accessible, and effective stress-reducing tools. Numerous mobile health apps that may potentially aid in stress recovery are available, but very few have demonstrated that they can influence health-related physiological stress parameters (eg, salivary biomarkers of stress). The ability to recover swiftly from stress and reduce physiological arousal is particularly important for long-term health, and thus, it is imperative that evidence is provided to demonstrate the effectiveness of stress-reducing mobile health apps in this context. Objective: The purpose of this research was to investigate the physiological and psychological effects of using a smartphone app for HRVB training following a stressful experience. The efficacy of the gamified Breather component of the Happify mobile health app was examined in an experimental setting. Methods: In this study, participants (N=140) underwent a laboratory stressor and were randomly assigned to recover in one of three ways: with no phone present, with a phone present, with the HRBV game. Those in the no phone condition had no access to their phone. Those in the phone present condition had their phone but did not use it. Those in the HRVB game condition used the serious game Breather on the Happify app. Stress recovery was assessed via repeated measures of salivary alpha amylase, cortisol, and self-reported acute stress (on a 1-100 scale). Results: Participants in the HRVB game condition had significantly lower levels of salivary alpha amylase during recovery than participants in the other conditions (F2,133=3.78, P=.03). There were no significant differences among the conditions during recovery for salivary cortisol levels or self-reported stress. Conclusions: These results show that engaging in a brief HRVB training session on a smartphone reduces levels of salivary alpha amylase following a stressful experience, providing preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of Breather in improving physiological stress recovery. Given the known ties between stress recovery and future well-being, this study provides a possible mechanism by which gamified biofeedback apps may lead to better health.

  • Source: Image created by the first author using licensed images from FableVision and Adobe Stock; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Fair use/fair dealings.

    Using Narrative Game Design to Increase Children’s Physical Activity: Exploratory Thematic Analysis


    Background: Physical activity is crucial for child obesity prevention and intervention. Narratives embedded in active games can increase children’s physical activity. Objective: Little is known about the narrative characteristics that would motivate children to exercise. We attempted to fill the gaps in understanding regarding narrative design for active video games. Methods: In this exploratory study, four animated narratives of different genres were professionally generated. Children (N=41) between the ages of 8 and 12 years were interviewed to identify their preferences. Sessions were digitally recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using exploratory thematic analysis. Results: Findings revealed that the children rated the dystopian science fiction story as their favorite across all weight, race, and gender groups. The physical activity-friendly narrative strategies included virtuous characters, extraordinary character actions, interesting plots, super powers, and engaging cliffhangers. Alternatively, information not related to physical activity, difficult-to-follow plot lines, passive protagonists, and repetitive narrative tropes were less appealing for physical activity. Conclusions: This research provides preliminary evidence that narratives have characteristics that may increase child physical activity when playing active games. Future empirical studies should verify and test these design principles.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Serious Game–Derived Index for Detecting Children With Heterogeneous Developmental Disabilities: Randomized Controlled Trial


    Background: Developmental disabilities are a set of heterogeneous delays or difficulties in one or more areas of neuropsychological development. Considering that childhood is an essential stage of brain development and developmental delays lead to personal or social burdens, the early detection of childhood developmental disabilities is important. However, early screening for developmental disabilities has been a challenge because of the fear of positive results, expensive tests, differences in diagnosis depending on examiners’ abilities, and difficulty in diagnosis arising from the need for long-term follow-up observation. Objective: This study aimed to assess the feasibility of using a serious game–derived index to identify heterogeneous developmental disabilities. This study also examines the correlation between the game-derived index and existing neuropsychological test results. Methods: The randomized clinical trial involved 48 children with either normal development or developmental disabilities. In this clinical trial, we used 19 features (6 from the Korean-Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, 8 from the Psychoeducational Profile Revised, 2 from the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Second Edition, and 3 from the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory) from neuropsychological tests and 9 (7 Game Scores, Path Accuracy, and Completion Rate) from the serious game, DoBrain. The following analysis was conducted based on participants’ baseline information and neuropsychological test and game-derived index data for one week: (1) we compared the baseline information between the ND (Normal Development) and DD groups (Developmental Disabilities); (2) then we measured the correlation between the game-derived index and the neuropsychological test scores for each group; and (3) we built a classifier based on the game-derived index with a Gaussian process method and then compared the area under the curve (AUC) with a model based on neuropsychological test results. Results: A total of 16 children (ND=9; DD=7) were analyzed after selection. Their developmental abilities were assessed before they started to play the serious games, and statistically significant differences were found in both groups. Specifically, the ND group was more developed than the DD group in terms of social function, gross motor function, full-scale IQ, and visual motor imitation, in that order. Similarly, the ND group obtained a higher score on the game-derived index than the DD group. In the correlation analysis between the game-derived index and the neuropsychological tests, the ND group showed greater correlation with more variables than the DD group. The game-derived index–based model had an AUC=0.9, a similar detection value as the neuropsychological test-based model’s AUC=0.86. Conclusions: A game-derived index based on serious games can detect children with heterogenous developmental disabilities. This suggests that serious games can be used as a potential screening tool for developmental disabilities. Clinical Trial: Clinical Research Information Service KCT0003247;

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  • Usability development and evaluation of a serious game for hemodialysis teens

    Date Submitted: Jan 26, 2020

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 26, 2020 - Mar 22, 2020

    Background: Adolescents with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have difficulty adhering to hemodialysis as a renal replacement treatment. This difficulty has created the need to establish strategies that m...

    Background: Adolescents with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have difficulty adhering to hemodialysis as a renal replacement treatment. This difficulty has created the need to establish strategies that motivate treatment adherence. Objective: To develop and evaluate the usability of a game in serious game mode to stimulate and motivate adolescents using hemodialysis. Methods: This was a descriptive and exploratory research study developed from a technological production. The target population consisted of patients undergoing hemodialysis, aged 10 to 14 years. The study was conducted in two phases: the process of creating a serious game developed to guide the self-care of adolescents on hemodialysis and the evaluation of its usability. Results: A game developed in serious game mode for use in hemodialysis in which the player was encouraged to take care of a character through daily actions in hemodialysis therapy. In the usability analysis, the data showed that the serious game generated interaction, motivation, and better perception of the clinical condition by adolescents. Discussion: We found that the game generated motivation, allowed the perception of the clinical condition of the character, and allowed reflection on conditioning factors inherent to the disease. Conclusions: The application proved to be a potential strategy for practice of care for the control of CKD and to be adjuvant to actions promoting self-care. The serious game was effective when used by teenagers undergoing hemodialysis.

  • Computer-Based Tests for Clinical Reasoning: Evidence of Construct Validity

    Date Submitted: Jan 2, 2020

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 2, 2020 - Feb 27, 2020

    Background: Clinical reasoning (CR) is a fundamental skill medical students need to learn. Challenge still remained in our current education using conventional methods. New technology is needed for en...

    Background: Clinical reasoning (CR) is a fundamental skill medical students need to learn. Challenge still remained in our current education using conventional methods. New technology is needed for enhancing our CR teaching, especially when we are facing new generations of health trainees. China Medical University (CMU) has developed computer-based CR training system (CMU-CBCRT). Objective: We performed a construct validity test of CMU-CBCRT in this study. Methods: We recruited 385 students from 5th year undergraduates to PGY 3 to complete the test on CMU-CBCRT. Testing scores were compared over four training level (5th year MD, PGY-1, PGY-2, PGY-3) using an one-way analysis of variance. Results: We found that testing scores increased as the years of training growth. Significant differences were found on the testing score of information collection, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as total scores among different training years of medical students, but not of treatment errors. Conclusions: We provided evidence of construct validity of CMU-CBCRT. It was able to distinguish CR skills over different levels of medical students on their early stage of medical career.