CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Yearb Med Inform 2019; 28(01): 240-248
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1677904
Research & Education
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart

Serious Games in Health Professions Education: Review of Trends and Learning Efficacy

Gong Haoran
1  Medical Education Research and Scholarship Unit, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
,
Eleni Bazakidi
1  Medical Education Research and Scholarship Unit, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
,
Nabil Zary
2  Games for Health Innovations Centre, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
3  Department of Learning, Informatics, Management, and Ethics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
4  Emerging Technologies Lab, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences, UM6SS, Casablanca, Morocco
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 April 2019 (online)

  

Summary

Objectives: To provide an overview of research trends and a review regarding the learning efficacy of serious games for health professions education taking into account short-term learning outcomes.

Methods: For the review of research trends, we performed the search on Web of Science from 1996 until the present. For the scoping review on learning efficacy, ERIC, Education Source, PsychINFO, Global Health, CINAHL, Web Of Science, and Medline were searched.

Results: The publications trend is characterized by three phases: (i) an exploratory phase up to 2006, (ii) an early growth from 2007 to 2012, and (iii) a development phase from 2013 onwards. A total of 25 studies were identified in the scoping review. Sixteen had both pre-test and post-test, all of them showed significant improvement in learning scores after the use of serious games. Eighteen publications conducted controlled experiments, of which 14 indicated that post-test scores after serious games were significantly higher than with conventional teaching methods. The review revealed the lack of integration of affective learning with other competencies, as well as the need for serious games targeting postgraduate education.

Conclusion: Serious games research remains emergent. Using serious games for health professions education seems efficacious for short-term learning. Addressing more competencies and health professionals across the education continuum is needed before generalizable definitive statements can be made.