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Serious games, a game changer in teaching neonatal resuscitation? A review
  1. Simran K Ghoman1,2,
  2. Siddhi D Patel1,3,
  3. Maria Cutumisu1,4,5,
  4. Patrick von Hauff1,6,
  5. Thomas Jeffery1,6,
  6. Matthew R G Brown1,5,
  7. Georg M Schmölzer1,2
  1. 1 Centre for the Studies of Asphyxia and Resuscitation, Neonatal Research Unit, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonoton, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3 Faculty of Science, University of Alberta, Edmonoton, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4 Centre for Research in Applied Measurement and Evaluation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  5. 5 Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  6. 6 Academic Technology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Georg M Schmölzer, Centre for the Studies of Asphyxia and Resuscitation, Neonatal Research Unit, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta T5H 3V9, Canada; georg.schmoelzer{at}me.com

Abstract

Background Neonatal healthcare professionals require frequent simulation-based education (SBE) to improve their cognitive, psychomotor and communication skills during neonatal resuscitation. However, current SBE approaches are resource-intensive and not routinely offered in all healthcare facilities. Serious games (board and computer based) may be effective and more accessible alternatives.

Objective To review the current literature about serious games, and how these games might improve knowledge retention and skills in neonatal healthcare professionals.

Method Literature searches of PubMed, Google Scholar, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CINAHL, Web of Science and EMBASE databases were performed to identify studies examining serious games in neonatology. All games, such as board games, tabletop games, video games, screen-based simulators, tabletop simulators and virtual reality games were included.

Results Twelve serious games were included in this review (four board games, five video games and three virtual reality games). Overall, knowledge improvement was reported for the RETAIN (REsuscitationTrAINing for healthcare professionals) board game (10% increase in knowledge retention) and The Neonatology Game (4.15 points higher test score compared with control). Serious games are increasingly incorporated into Nursing and Medical School Curriculums to reinforce theoretical and practical learning.

Conclusions Serious games have the potential to improve healthcare professionals’ knowledge, skills and adherence to the resuscitation algorithm and could enhance access to SBE in resource-intensive and resource-limited areas. Future research should examine important clinical outcomes in newborn infants.

  • newborn
  • resuscitation
  • serious games
  • teaching

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Footnotes

  • Contributors Conception: GMS, SKG, SDP, MC, MRGB, TJ, PvH. Literature search: GMS, SKG, SDP, MC, MRGB, TJ, PvH. Drafting of the manuscript: GMS, SKG, MC, MRGB, SDP, TJ, PvH. Critical revision of the manuscript: GMS, SKG, MC, MRGB, SDP, TJ, PvH. Final approval of the manuscript: GMS, SKG, MC, MRGB, SDP, TJ, PvH.

  • Funding We thank the public for donating money to our funding agencies: SKG is a recipient of the Maternal and Child Health (MatCH) Scholarship Program (supported by the University of Alberta, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, Women and Children’s Health Research Institute and the Lois Hole Hospital for Women). GMS is a recipient of the Heart and Stroke Foundation/University of Alberta Professorship of Neonatal Resuscitation, a National New Investigator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada and an Alberta New Investigator of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Alberta.

  • Competing interests MRGB, PvH and GMS have registered the RETAIN board game (Tech ID 2017083) and the RETAIN video game under Canadian copyright (Tech ID 2017086). MRGB and GMS are owners of RETAIN Labs Medical, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (https://www.playretain.com), which is distributing the game.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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