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1.  Support for and aspects of use of educational games in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the US: a survey 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:26.
Background
The evidence supporting the effectiveness of educational games in graduate medical education is limited. Anecdotal reports suggest their popularity in that setting. The objective of this study was to explore the support for and the different aspects of use of educational games in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the United States.
Methods
We conducted a survey of family medicine and internal medicine residency program directors in the United States. The questionnaire asked the program directors whether they supported the use of educational games, their actual use of games, and the type of games being used and the purpose of that use.
Results
Of 434 responding program directors (52% response rate), 92% were in support of the use of games as an educational strategy, and 80% reported already using them in their programs. Jeopardy like games were the most frequently used games (78%). The use of games was equally popular in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs and popularity was inversely associated with more than 75% of residents in the program being International Medical Graduates. The percentage of program directors who reported using educational games as teaching tools, review tools, and evaluation tools were 62%, 47%, and 4% respectively.
Conclusions
Given a widespread use of educational games in the training of medical residents, in spite of limited evidence for efficacy, further evaluation of the best approaches to education games should be explored.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-26
PMCID: PMC2851700  PMID: 20338034
2.  Guidelines, Editors, Pharma And The Biological Paradigm Shift 
Mens Sana Monographs  2007;5(1):27-30.
Private investment in biomedical research has increased over the last few decades. At most places it has been welcomed as the next best thing to technology itself. Much of the intellectual talent from academic institutions is getting absorbed in lucrative positions in industry. Applied research finds willing collaborators in venture capital funded industry, so a symbiotic growth is ensured for both.
There are significant costs involved too. As academia interacts with industry, major areas of conflict of interest especially applicable to biomedical research have arisen. They are related to disputes over patents and royalty, hostile encounters between academia and industry, as also between public and private enterprise, legal tangles, research misconduct of various types, antagonistic press and patient-advocate lobbies and a general atmosphere in which commercial interest get precedence over patient welfare.
Pharma image stinks because of a number of errors of omission and commission. A recent example is suppression of negative findings about Bayer's Trasylol (Aprotinin) and the marketing maneuvers of Eli Lilly's Xigris (rhAPC). Whenever there is a conflict between patient vulnerability and profit motives, pharma often tends to tilt towards the latter. Moreover there are documents that bring to light how companies frequently cross the line between patient welfare and profit seeking behaviour.
A voluntary moratorium over pharma spending to pamper drug prescribers is necessary. A code of conduct adopted recently by OPPI in India to limit pharma company expenses over junkets and trinkets is a welcome step.
Clinical practice guidelines (CPG) are considered important as they guide the diagnostic/therapeutic regimen of a large number of medical professionals and hospitals and provide recommendations on drugs, their dosages and criteria for selection. Along with clinical trials, they are another area of growing influence by the pharmaceutical industry. For example, in a relatively recent survey of 2002, it was found that about 60% of 192 authors of clinical practice guidelines reported they had financial connections with the companies whose drugs were under consideration. There is a strong case for making CPGs based not just on effectivity but cost effectivity. The various ramifications of this need to be spelt out. Work of bodies like the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) Collaboration and Guidelines Advisory Committee (GAC) are also worth a close look.
Even the actions of Foundations that work for disease amelioration have come under scrutiny. The process of setting up ‘Best Practices’ Guidelines for interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and clinicians has already begun and can have important consequences for patient care. Similarly, Good Publication Practice (GPP) for pharmaceutical companies have also been set up aimed at improving the behaviour of drug companies while reporting drug trials
The rapidly increasing trend toward influence and control by industry has become a concern for many. It is of such importance that the Association of American Medical Colleges has issued two relatively new documents - one, in 2001, on how to deal with individual conflicts of interest; and the other, in 2002, on how to deal with institutional conflicts of interest in the conduct of clinical research. Academic Medical Centers (AMCs), as also medical education and research institutions at other places, have to adopt means that minimize their conflicts of interest.
Both medical associations and research journal editors are getting concerned with individual and institutional conflicts of interest in the conduct of clinical research and documents are now available which address these issues. The 2001 ICMJE revision calls for full disclosure of the sponsor's role in research, as well as assurance that the investigators are independent of the sponsor, are fully accountable for the design and conduct of the trial, have independent access to all trial data and control all editorial and publication decisions. However the findings of a 2002 study suggest that academic institutions routinely participate in clinical research that does not adhere to ICMJE standards of accountability, access to data and control of publication.
There is an inevitable slant to produce not necessarily useful but marketable products which ensure the profitability of industry and research grants outflow to academia. Industry supports new, not traditional, therapies, irrespective of what is effective. Whatever traditional therapy is supported is most probably because the company concerned has a product with a big stake there, which has remained a ‘gold standard’ or which that player thinks has still some ‘juice’ left.
Industry sponsorship is mainly for potential medications, not for trying to determine whether there may be non-pharmacological interventions that may be equally good, if not better. In the paradigm shift towards biological psychiatry, the role of industry sponsorship is not overt but probably more pervasive than many have realised, or the right thinking may consider good, for the health of the branch in the long run.
An issue of major concern is protection of the interests of research subjects. Patients agree to become research subjects not only for personal medical benefit but, as an extension, to benefit the rest of the patient population and also advance medical research.
We all accept that industry profits have to be made, and investment in research and development by the pharma industry is massive. However, we must also accept there is a fundamental difference between marketing strategies for other entities and those for drugs.
The ultimate barometer is patient welfare and no drug that compromises it can stand the test of time. So, how does it make even commercial sense in the long term to market substandard products? The greatest mistake long-term players in industry may make is try to adopt the shady techniques of the upstart new entrant. Secrecy of marketing/sales tactics, of the process of manufacture, of other strategies and plans of business expansion, of strategies to tackle competition are fine business tactics. But it is critical that secrecy as a tactic not extend to reporting of research findings, especially those contrary to one's product.
Pharma has no option but to make a quality product, do comprehensive adverse reaction profiles, and market it only if it passes both tests.
Why does pharma adopt questionable tactics? The reasons are essentially two:
What with all the constraints, a drug comes to the pharmacy after huge investments. There are crippling overheads and infrastructure costs to be recovered. And there are massive profit margins to be maintained. If these were to be dependent only on genuine drug discoveries, that would be taking too great a risk.Industry players have to strike the right balance between profit making and credibility. In profit making, the marketing champions play their role. In credibility ratings, researchers and paid spokes-persons play their role. All is hunky dory till marketing is based on credibility. When there is nothing available to make for credibility, something is projected as one and marketing carried out, in the calculated hope that profits can accrue, since profit making must continue endlessly. That is what makes pharma adopt even questionable means to make profits.
Essentially, there are four types of drugs. First, drugs that work and have minimal side-effects; second, drugs which work but have serious side-effects; third, drugs that do not work and have minimal side-effects; and fourth, drugs which work minimally but have serious side-effects. It is the second and fourth types that create major hassles for industry. Often, industry may try to project the fourth type as the second to escape censure.
The major cat and mouse game being played by conscientious researchers is in exposing the third and fourth for what they are and not allowing industry to palm them off as the first and second type respectively. The other major game is in preventing the second type from being projected as the first. The third type are essentially harmless, so they attract censure all right and some merriment at the antics to market them. But they escape anything more than a light rap on the knuckles, except when they are projected as the first type.
What is necessary for industry captains and long-term players is to realise:
Their major propelling force can only be producing the first type. 2. They accept the second type only till they can lay their hands on the first. 3. The third type can be occasionally played around with to shore up profits, but never by projecting them as the first type. 4. The fourth type are the laggards, real threat to credibility and therefore do not deserve any market hype or promotion.
In finding out why most pharma indulges in questionable tactics, we are lead to some interesting solutions to prevent such tactics with the least amount of hassles for all concerned, even as both profits and credibility are kept intact.
doi:10.4103/0973-1229.32176
PMCID: PMC3192391  PMID: 22058616
Academia; Pharmaceutical Industry; Clinical Practice Guidelines; Best Practice Guidelines; Academic Medical Centers; Medical Associations; Research Journals; Clinical Research; Public Welfare; Pharma Image; Corporate Welfare; Biological Psychiatry; Law Suits Against Industry
3.  Curricula for teaching the content of clinical practice guidelines to family medicine and internal medicine residents in the US: a survey study 
Background
Teaching the content of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) is important to both clinical care and graduate medical education. The objective of this study was to determine the characteristics of curricula for teaching the content of CPGs in family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the United States.
Methods
We surveyed the directors of family medicine and internal medicine residency programs in the United States. The questionnaire included questions about the characteristics of the teaching of CPGs: goals and objectives, educational activities, evaluation, aspects of CPGs that the program teaches, the methods of making texts of CPGs available to residents, and the major barriers to teaching CPGs.
Results
Of 434 programs responding (out of 839, 52%), 14% percent reported having written goals and objectives related to teaching CPGs. The most frequently taught aspect was the content of specific CPGs (76%). The top two educational strategies used were didactic sessions (76%) and journal clubs (64%). Auditing for adherence by residents was the primary evaluation strategy (44%), although 36% of program directors conducted no evaluation. Programs made texts of CPGs available to residents most commonly in the form of paper copies (54%) while the most important barrier was time constraints on faculty (56%).
Conclusion
Residency programs teach different aspects of CPGs to varying degrees, and the majority uses educational strategies not supported by research evidence.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-4-59
PMCID: PMC2753632  PMID: 19772570
4.  Inclusion of Ethical Issues in Dementia Guidelines: A Thematic Text Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(8):e1001498.
Background
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) aim to improve professionalism in health care. However, current CPG development manuals fail to address how to include ethical issues in a systematic and transparent manner. The objective of this study was to assess the representation of ethical issues in general CPGs on dementia care.
Methods and Findings
To identify national CPGs on dementia care, five databases of guidelines were searched and national psychiatric associations were contacted in August 2011 and in June 2013. A framework for the assessment of the identified CPGs' ethical content was developed on the basis of a prior systematic review of ethical issues in dementia care. Thematic text analysis and a 4-point rating score were employed to assess how ethical issues were addressed in the identified CPGs. Twelve national CPGs were included. Thirty-one ethical issues in dementia care were identified by the prior systematic review. The proportion of these 31 ethical issues that were explicitly addressed by each CPG ranged from 22% to 77%, with a median of 49.5%. National guidelines differed substantially with respect to (a) which ethical issues were represented, (b) whether ethical recommendations were included, (c) whether justifications or citations were provided to support recommendations, and (d) to what extent the ethical issues were explained.
Conclusions
Ethical issues were inconsistently addressed in national dementia guidelines, with some guidelines including most and some including few ethical issues. Guidelines should address ethical issues and how to deal with them to help the medical profession understand how to approach care of patients with dementia, and for patients, their relatives, and the general public, all of whom might seek information and advice in national guidelines. There is a need for further research to specify how detailed ethical issues and their respective recommendations can and should be addressed in dementia guidelines.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors’ Summary
Background
In the past, doctors tended to rely on their own experience to choose the best treatment for their patients. Faced with a patient with dementia (a brain disorder that affects short-term memory and the ability tocarry out normal daily activities), for example, a doctor would use his/her own experience to help decide whether the patient should remain at home or would be better cared for in a nursing home. Similarly, the doctor might have to decide whether antipsychotic drugs might be necessary to reduce behavioral or psychological symptoms such as restlessness or shouting. However, over the past two decades, numerous evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been produced by governmental bodies and medical associations that aim to improve standards of clinical competence and professionalism in health care. During the development of each guideline, experts search the medical literature for the current evidence about the diagnosis and treatment of a disease, evaluate the quality of that evidence, and then make recommendations based on the best evidence available.
Why Was This Study Done?
Currently, CPG development manuals do not address how to include ethical issues in CPGs. A health-care professional is ethical if he/she behaves in accordance with the accepted principles of right and wrong that govern the medical profession. More specifically, medical professionalism is based on a set of binding ethical principles—respect for patient autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance (the “do no harm” principle), and justice. In particular, CPG development manuals do not address disease-specific ethical issues (DSEIs), clinical ethical situations that are relevant to the management of a specific disease. So, for example, a DSEI that arises in dementia care is the conflict between the ethical principles of non-malfeasance and patient autonomy (freedom-to-move-at-will). Thus, healthcare professionals may have to decide to physically restrain a patient with dementia to prevent the patient doing harm to him- or herself or to someone else. Given the lack of guidance on how to address ethical issues in CPG development manuals, in this thematic text analysis, the researchers assess the representation of ethical issues in CPGs on general dementia care. Thematic text analysis uses a framework for the assessment of qualitative data (information that is word-based rather than number-based) that involves pinpointing, examining, and recording patterns (themes) among the available data.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 12 national CPGs on dementia care by searching guideline databases and by contacting national psychiatric associations. They developed a framework for the assessment of the ethical content in these CPGs based on a previous systematic review of ethical issues in dementia care. Of the 31 DSEIs included by the researchers in their analysis, the proportion that were explicitly addressed by each CPG ranged from 22% (Switzerland) to 77% (USA); on average the CPGs explicitly addressed half of the DSEIs. Four DSEIs—adequate consideration of advanced directives in decision making, usage of GPS and other monitoring techniques, covert medication, and dealing with suicidal thinking—were not addressed in at least 11 of the CPGs. The inclusion of recommendations on how to deal with DSEIs ranged from 10% of DSEIs covered in the Swiss CPG to 71% covered in the US CPG. Overall, national guidelines differed substantially with respect to which ethical issues were included, whether ethical recommendations were included, whether justifications or citations were provided to support recommendations, and to what extent the ethical issues were clearly explained.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that national CPGs on dementia care already address clinical ethical issues but that the extent to which the spectrum of DSEIs is considered varies widely within and between CPGs. They also indicate that recommendations on how to deal with DSEIs often lack the evidence that health-care professionals use to justify their clinical decisions. The researchers suggest that this situation can and should be improved, although more research is needed to determine how ethical issues and recommendations should be addressed in dementia guidelines. A more systematic and transparent inclusion of DSEIs in CPGs for dementia (and for other conditions) would further support the concept of medical professionalism as a core element of CPGs, note the researchers, but is also important for patients and their relatives who might turn to national CPGs for information and guidance at a stressful time of life.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001498.
Wikipedia contains a page on clinical practice guidelines (note: Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
The US National Guideline Clearinghouse provides information on national guidelines, including CPGs for dementia
The Guidelines International Network promotes the systematic development and application of clinical practice guidelines
The American Medical Association provides information about medical ethics; the British Medical Association provides information on all aspects of ethics and includes an essential tool kit that introduces common ethical problems and practical ways to deal with them
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about dementia, including a personal story about dealing with dementia
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about dementia and about Alzheimers disease, a specific type of dementia (in English and Spanish)
The UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics provides the report Dementia: ethical issues and additional information on the public consultation on ethical issues in dementia care
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001498
PMCID: PMC3742442  PMID: 23966839
5.  Septris: A Novel, Mobile, Online, Simulation Game That Improves Sepsis Recognition and Management 
Academic Medicine  2015;90(2):180-184.
Problem
Annually affecting over 18 million people worldwide, sepsis is common, deadly, and costly. Despite significant effort by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and other initiatives, sepsis remains underrecognized and undertreated.
Approach
Research indicates that educating providers may improve sepsis diagnosis and treatment; thus, the Stanford School of Medicine has developed a mobile-accessible, case-based, online game entitled Septris (http://med.stanford.edu/septris/). Septris, launched online worldwide in December 2011, takes an innovative approach to teaching early sepsis identification and evidence-based management. The free gaming platform leverages the massive expansion over the past decade of smartphones and the popularity of noneducational gaming.
The authors sought to assess the game’s dissemination and its impact on learners’ sepsis-related knowledge, skills, and attitudes. In 2012, the authors trained Stanford pregraduate (clerkship) and postgraduate (resident) medical learners (n = 156) in sepsis diagnosis and evidence-based practices via 20 minutes of self-directed game play with Septris. The authors administered pre- and posttests.
Outcomes
By October 2014, Septris garnered over 61,000 visits worldwide. After playing Septris, both pre- and postgraduate groups improved their knowledge on written testing in recognizing and managing sepsis (P < .001). Retrospective self-reporting on their ability to identify and manage sepsis also improved (P < .001). Over 85% of learners reported that they would or would maybe recommend Septris.
Next Steps
Future evaluation of Septris should assess its effectiveness among different providers, resource settings, and cultures; generate information about how different learners make clinical decisions; and evaluate the correlation of game scores with sepsis knowledge.
doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000000611
PMCID: PMC4323568  PMID: 25517703
6.  Lack of chart reminder effectiveness on family medicine resident JNC-VI and NCEP III guideline knowledge and attitudes 
BMC Family Practice  2004;5:14.
Background
The literature demonstrates that medical residents and practicing physicians have an attitudinal-behavioral discordance concerning their positive attitudes towards clinical practice guidelines (CPG), and the implementation of these guidelines into clinical practice patterns.
Methods
A pilot study was performed to determine if change in a previously identified CPG compliance factor (accessibility) would produce a significant increase in family medicine resident knowledge and attitude toward the guidelines. The primary study intervention involved placing a summary of the Sixth Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure (JNC VI) and the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (NCEP III) CPGs in all patient (>18 yr.) charts for a period of three months. The JNC VI and NCEP III CPGs were also distributed to each Wayne State family medicine resident, and a copy of each CPG was placed in the preceptor's area of the involved clinics. Identical pre- and post- intervention questionnaires were administered to all residents concerning CPG knowledge and attitude.
Results
Post-intervention analysis failed to demonstrate a significant difference in CPG knowledge. A stastically significant post-intervention difference was found in only on attitude question. The barriers to CPG compliance were identified as 1) lack of CPG instruction; 2) lack of critical appraisal ability; 3) insufficient time; 4) lack of CPG accessibility; and 5) lack of faculty modeling.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated no significant post intervention changes in CPG knowledge, and only one question that reflected attitude change. Wider resident access to dedicated clinic time, increased faculty modeling, and the implementation of an electronic record/reminder system that uses a team-based approach are compliance factors that should be considered for further investigation. The interpretation of CPG non-compliance will benefit from a causal matrix focused on physician knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Recent findings in resident knowledge-behavior discordance may direct the future investigation of physician CPG non-compliance away from generalized barrier research, and toward the development of information that maximizes the sense of individual practitioner urgency and certainty.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-5-14
PMCID: PMC471552  PMID: 15236663
7.  Medical student attitudes toward video games and related new media technologies in medical education 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:50.
Background
Studies in K-12 and college students show that their learning preferences have been strongly shaped by new media technologies like video games, virtual reality environments, the Internet, and social networks. However, there is no known research on medical students' game experiences or attitudes towards new media technologies in medical education. This investigation seeks to elucidate medical student experiences and attitudes, to see whether they warrant the development of new media teaching methods in medicine.
Methods
Medical students from two American universities participated. An anonymous, 30-item, cross-sectional survey addressed demographics, game play experience and attitudes on using new media technologies in medical education. Statistical analysis identified: 1) demographic characteristics; 2) differences between the two universities; 3) how video game play differs across gender, age, degree program and familiarity with computers; and 4) characteristics of students who play most frequently.
Results
217 medical students participated. About half were female (53%). Respondents liked the idea of using technology to enhance healthcare education (98%), felt that education should make better use of new media technologies (96%), and believed that video games can have educational value (80%). A majority (77%) would use a multiplayer online healthcare simulation on their own time, provided that it helped them to accomplish an important goal. Men and women agreed that they were most inclined to use multiplayer simulations if they were fun (97%), and if they helped to develop skill in patient interactions (90%). However, there was significant gender dissonance over types of favorite games, the educational value of video games, and the desire to participate in games that realistically replicated the experience of clinical practice.
Conclusions
Overall, medical student respondents, including many who do not play video games, held highly favorable views about the use of video games and related new media technology in medical education. Significant gender differences in game play experience and attitudes may represent male video game design bias that stresses male cognitive aptitudes; medical educators hoping to create serious games that will appeal to both men and women must avoid this.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-10-50
PMCID: PMC2908629  PMID: 20576125
8.  InSpire to Promote Lung Assessment in Youth: Evolving the Self-Management Paradigms of Young People With Asthma 
Medicine 2.0  2013;2(1):e1.
Background
Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood, disproportionately affecting urban, minority, and disadvantaged children. Individualized care plans supported by daily lung-function monitoring can reduce morbidity and mortality. However, despite 20 years of interventions to increase adherence, only 50% of US youth accurately follow their care plans, which leads to millions of preventable hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and sick days every year. We present a feasibility study of a novel, user-centered approach to increasing young people’s lung-function monitoring and asthma self-care. Promoting Lung Assessment in Youth (PLAY) helps young people become active managers of their asthma through the Web 2.0 principles of participation, cocreation, and information sharing. Specifically, PLAY combines an inexpensive, portable spirometer with the motivational power and convenience of mobile phones and virtual-community gaming.
Objective
The objective of this study was to develop and pilot test InSpire, a fully functional interface between a handheld spirometer and an interactive game and individualized asthma-care instant-messaging system housed on a mobile phone.
Methods
InSpire is an application for mobile smartphones that creates a compelling world in which youth collaborate with their physicians on managing their asthma. Drawing from design-theory on global timer mechanics and role playing, we incentivized completing spirometry maneuvers by making them an engaging part of a game young people would want to play. The data can be sent wirelessly to health specialists and return care recommendations to patients in real-time. By making it portable and similar to applications normally desired by the target demographic, InSpire is able to seamlessly incorporate asthma management into their lifestyle.
Results
We describe the development process of building and testing the InSpire prototype. To our knowledge, the prototype is a first-of-its kind mobile one-stop shop for asthma management. Feasibility testing in children aged 7 to 14 with asthma assessed likability of the graphical user interface as well as young people’s interest in our incentivizing system. Nearly 100% of children surveyed said they would play games like those in PLAY if they involved breathing into a spirometer. Two-thirds said they would prefer PLAY over the spirometer alone, whereas 1/3 would prefer having both. No children said they would prefer the spirometer over PLAY.
Conclusions
Previous efforts at home-monitoring of asthma in children have experienced rapid decline in adherence. An inexpensive monitoring technology combined with the computation, interactive communication, and display ability of a mobile phone is a promising approach to sustainable adherence to lung-function monitoring and care plans. An exciting game that redefines the way youth conduct health management by inviting them to collaborate in their health better can be an incentive and a catalyst for more far-reaching goals.
doi:10.2196/med20.2014
PMCID: PMC4084766  PMID: 25075232
pediatric asthma; chronic disease management; mobile phones; spirometry; gamification
9.  Assessing the Acceptability and Usability of an Interactive Serious Game in Aiding Treatment Decisions for Patients with Localized Prostate Cancer 
Background
Men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer face a potentially life-altering treatment decision that can be overwhelming. Enhancing patient knowledge through education can significantly reduce feelings of uncertainty while simultaneously increasing confidence in decision making. Serious games have been shown in other populations to increase health knowledge and assist with the health decision-making process. We developed an interactive serious game, Time After Time, which translates evidence-based treatment outcome data into an accessible and understandable format that men can utilize in their prostate cancer treatment decision-making process. The game specifically aims to raise men’s awareness and understanding of the impact of health-related quality of life issues associated with the major treatment options and to enrich their conversations with their health care providers.
Objective
This study determined the acceptability and usability of the alpha version of Time After Time, an interactive decision aid for men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, in order to inform future iterations of the serious game.
Methods
The study employed a mixed methods approach to assess the acceptability and usability of the Time After Time serious game using qualitative focus groups and a quantitative Likert scale survey.
Results
A total of 13 men who had already completed treatment for localized prostate cancer completed the survey and participated in focus group meetings. The majority of the study participants rated Time After Time as an appropriate decision tool for localized prostate cancer and verified that it meets its goals of increasing focus on side effects and generating questions for the patient’s health care team. However, participants also expressed concerns about game usability and the diversity of information covered regarding treatment options and potential treatment outcomes.
Conclusions
Serious games are a promising approach to health education and decision support for older men. Participants were receptive to the idea of a serious game as a decision aid in localized prostate cancer. However, usability issues are a major concern for this demographic, as is clarity and transparency of data sources.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1519
PMCID: PMC3221354  PMID: 21239374
serious games; prostate cancer; shared decision-making; usability
10.  Development and Testing of a Multidimensional iPhone Pain Assessment Application for Adolescents with Cancer 
Background
Pain is one of the most common and distressing symptoms reported by adolescents with cancer. Despite advancements in pain assessment and management research, pain due to cancer and/or its treatments continues to be poorly managed. Our research group has developed a native iPhone application (app) called Pain Squad to tackle the problem of poorly managed pain in the adolescent with cancer group. The app functions as an electronic pain diary and is unique in its ability to collect data on pain intensity, duration, location, and the impact pain has on an adolescent’s life (ie, relationships, school work, sleep, mood). It also evaluates medications and other physical and psychological pain management strategies used. Users are prompted twice daily at configurable times to complete 20 questions characterizing their pain and the app transmits results to a database for aggregate reporting through a Web interface. Each diary entry represents a pain case filed by an adolescent with cancer and a reward system (ie, moving up through law-enforcement team ranks, built-in videotaped acknowledgements from fictitious officers) encourages consistent use of the diary.
Objective
Our objective was to design, develop, and test the usability, feasibility, compliance, and satisfaction of a game-based smartphone pain assessment tool for adolescents with cancer.
Methods
We used both low- and high-fidelity qualitative usability testing with qualitative semi-structured, audio-taped interviews and iterative cycles to design and refine the iPhone based Pain Squad app. Qualitative thematic analysis of interviews using constant comparative methodology captured emergent themes related to app usability. Content validity was assessed using question importance-rating surveys completed by participants. Compliance and satisfaction data were collected following a 2-week feasibility trial where users were alarmed to record their pain twice daily on the app.
Results
Thematic analysis of usability interviews showed the app to be appealing overall to adolescents. Analyses of both low- and high-fidelity testing resulted in minor revisions to the app to refine the theme and improve its usability. Adolescents resoundingly endorsed the game-based nature of the app and its virtual reward system. The importance of app pain diary questions was established by content validity analysis. Compliance with the app, assessed during feasibility testing, was high (mean 81%, SD 22%) and adolescents from this phase of the study found the app likeable, easy to use, and not bothersome to complete.
Conclusions
A multifaceted usability approach demonstrated how the Pain Squad app could be made more appealing to children and adolescents with cancer. The game-based nature and built-in reward system of the app was appealing to adolescents and may have resulted in the high compliance rates and satisfaction ratings observed during clinical feasibility testing.
doi:10.2196/jmir.2350
PMCID: PMC3636147  PMID: 23475457
neoplasms; pain; child; adolescent; youth; cellular phone; game
11.  Active gaming in Dutch adolescents: a descriptive study 
Background
Adequate levels of physical activity are part of a healthy lifestyle and in this way linked to better health outcomes. For children and adolescents, the physical activity guideline recommends at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day. However, many adolescents are not physically active enough and they spend a lot of their time on sedentary activities (such as video games). A new generation of video games that require body movements to play them, so-called "active games", could serve to increase physical activity in adolescents. The activity level while playing these games is comparable to light-to-moderate intensity physical activity. The current study aims to increase our understanding of 1) the demographic characteristics of adolescents who play active games regularly (≥ 1 hour per week) and non-regularly (<; 1 hour per week), 2) time spent on active games, 3) the contribution of active games to daily physical activity and 4) the type and amount of activities being replaced by active gaming.
Methods
A cross-sectional survey was conducted in a Dutch internet panel, questioning adolescents in conjunction with one of their parents. A random sample of 320 households (with stratification on gender of the parent and the adolescent, the age of the adolescent and the region of the household) was selected that owned a console or application for active video games and that had a child aged 12 through 16 years. 201 child–parent couples (63% response) completed an internet survey with questions about demographics, physical activity and sedentary behaviour, and gaming behaviour. The questionnaire also contained questions designed to assess whether and how active gaming replaces other activities. Besides descriptive analyses, independent t-test, Pearson’s chi-square and Mann–Whitney test (when data were not normally distributed) were used for comparisons between regular and non-regular active gamers.
Results
Eleven percent of the adolescents with an active game in their household never used the game. There were no significant differences in gender, education level (of adolescent and parent), ethnicity and sedentary behaviour between regular (n = 65) and non-regular active gamers (n = 114). Adolescents’ (regular and non-regular active gamers) meantime spent on active gaming was 80 (± 136) minutes a week; this potentially amounts to 11% of total physical activity. When time spent on active gaming was included in the calculation of the percentage of adolescents that met the physical activity guideline, the percentage increased significantly (p <; 0.05) from 67 to 73%. According to the adolescents, active gaming mainly replaces sedentary screen time such as TV viewing, internet and non-active gaming. Parental opinions concurred with this appraisal.
Conclusions
The results of this study confirm the idea that active gaming may contribute to an active lifestyle in adolescents, primarily because it potentially contributes substantially to time spent on physical activity. Secondly, active gamers indicate that they spent time on active games which they would have spent otherwise on less active activities.
doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-118
PMCID: PMC3493303  PMID: 23031076
Active video games; Adolescents; Physical activity behaviour; Physical activity guideline; Sedentary behaviour
12.  Game-based versus traditional case-based learning 
Canadian Family Physician  2010;56(9):e345-e351.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE
To evaluate family physicians’ enjoyment of and knowledge gained from game-based learning, compared with traditional case-based learning, in a continuing medical education (CME) event on stroke prevention and management.
DESIGN
An equivalence trial to determine if game-based learning was as effective as case-based learning in terms of attained knowledge levels. Game questions and small group cases were developed. Participants were randomized to either a game-based or a case-based group and took part in the event.
SETTING
Ontario provincial family medicine conference.
PARTICIPANTS
Thirty-two family physicians and 3 senior family medicine residents attending the conference.
INTERVENTION
Participation in either a game-based or a case-based CME learning group.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Scores on 40-item immediate and 3-month posttests of knowledge and a satisfaction survey.
RESULTS
Results from knowledge testing immediately after the event and 3 months later showed no significant difference in scoring between groups. Participants in the game-based group reported higher levels of satisfaction with the learning experience.
CONCLUSION
Games provide a novel way of organizing CME events. They might provide more group interaction and discussion, as well as improve recruitment to CME events. They might also provide a forum for interdisciplinary CME. Using games in future CME events appears to be a promising approach to facilitate participant learning.
PMCID: PMC2939136  PMID: 20841574
13.  Internet and game behaviour at a secondary school and a newly developed health promotion programme: a prospective study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:544.
Background
This study investigated the Internet and game use of secondary school children, the compulsiveness of their use and the relationship with other health behaviours. It also evaluated the preliminary results of a recently developed school health promotion programme, implemented at a secondary school in the Netherlands in January 2008. This programme is one of the first to combine seven health behaviours in one educational programme and is a pilot project for a case-control study.
Methods
A total of 475 secondary school children completed an extensive questionnaire before and a year after starting the programme. Of these children, 367 were in first, second and third grade; the grades in which the lessons about internet and game behaviour were implemented. Questionnaires contained questions about personal information, Internet and game use (Compulsive Internet Use Scale), and other health behaviours (alcohol use, physical activity, psychosocial wellbeing and body mass index).
Results
Heavy Internet use was significantly associated with psychosocial problems, and heavy game use was significantly associated with psychosocial problems and less physical activity. No relationship was found with alcohol use or body mass index. The time spent on Internet (hours/day) and the number of pathological Internet users increased during the study. The number of game users decreased but heavy game use increased.
Conclusion
The association between heavy Internet use and psychosocial problems and between game use and psychosocial problems and less physical activity emphasizes the need to target different health behaviours in one health education programme. A case-control study is needed to further assess the programme-induced changes in Internet and game behaviour of school children.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-544
PMCID: PMC2944373  PMID: 20828394
14.  Investigating the Effectiveness of an Educational Card Game for Learning How Human Immunology Is Regulated 
CBE Life Sciences Education  2014;13(3):504-515.
This study is being conducted in an attempt to investigate the effectiveness of an educational card game we developed for learning about human immunology. The obtained results indicate that students did learn from the educational card game and generally had positive perceptions of the game-based instruction and its learning efficiency.
This study was conducted in an attempt to investigate the effectiveness of an educational card game we developed for learning human immunology. Two semesters of evaluation were included to examine the impact of the game on students’ understanding and perceptions of the game-based instruction. Ninety-nine senior high school students (11th graders) were recruited for the first evaluation, and the second-semester group consisted of 72 students (also 11th graders). The results obtained indicate that students did learn from the educational card game. Moreover, students who learned from playing the game significantly outperformed their counterparts in terms of their understanding of the processes and connections among different lines of immunological defense (first semester: t = 2.92, p < 0.01; second semester: t = 3.45, p < 0.01) according to the qualitative analysis of an open-ended question. They generally had positive perceptions toward the game-based instruction and its learning efficiency, and they felt the game-based instruction was much more interesting than traditional didactic lectures (first semester: t = 2.79, p < 0.01; second semester: t = 2.41, p < 0.05). This finding is evidence that the educational card game has potential to facilitate students’ learning of how the immune system works. The implications and suggestions for future work are further discussed.
doi:10.1187/cbe.13-10-0197
PMCID: PMC4152211  PMID: 25185233
15.  EMB1/370: Facilitating Evidence-Based Healthcare: Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Internet 
Introduction
Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) can help physicians and patients make appropriate health-care decisions. However, CPGs must be readily accessible at the point of care and pertinent to the health-care environment. To facilitate access of Canadian physicians to CPGs reflecting the Canadian health care environment, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) created the CPG Infobase (www.cma.ca/cpgs), a comprehensive, Internet-based resource.
Methods
The CMA maintains a database of information on all current Canadian CPGs. Details on new CPGs and revisions, including their development, implementation and evaluation, and on related documents such as quick-reference guides for physicians and patient-oriented material, are added daily. In March 1995 the CMA began publishing online or licensing hyperlinks to evidence-based Canadian CPGs through its Web site, CMA Online, in a section named the CPG Infobase. As the CPG Infobase grew, browsing became increasingly inefficient. In addition, demand grew for information that would help the end-user determine which of several guidelines on a topic would be appropriate in a particular clinical situation. That information was available only through personal contact with the database staff. In 1998-99 the CMA developed a search engine and Web interface for the database to integrate it with the CPG Infobase. Needs assessment and iterative usability testing were conducted with physicians, the primary end-users.
Results
The CPG Infobase now provides fast, one-stop access to information on more than 2000 evidence-based Canadian CPGs. By involving physicians in the design of the search engine and interface, the CMA maximized ease of use while ensuring the functionality needed by the primary end-users. Searching is flexible: novices can use a basic technique, whereas more experienced searchers can easily customize a strategy to target CPGs directly applicable to a clinical situation. The information retrieved permits the user to quickly assess which guideline is appropriate. Then, through hypertext links, the full text or structured abstract of nearly 1000 of the CPGs can be viewed, as can many of the related documents. Ordering information is available for documents not yet online.
Discussion
In an era of information overload, rapid access to a thorough resource containing pertinent, reliable, evidence-based guidelines to best clinical practices is crucial for continual improvement in the quality of patient care. The Internet is an ideal access mechanism. However, acceptance and use of such a resource by physicians, who tend to be computer-search novices pressed for time, necessitate an intuitive interface and a powerful search engine. Quickly determining which of several conflicting guidelines is valid and appropriate in a specific clinical situation remains problematic. The CMA is now addressing this challenge and others related to guideline implementation.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1.suppl1.e21
PMCID: PMC1761789
Evidence-Based Medicine; Information Systems; Internet; Practice Guidelines; User-Computer Interface
16.  Development and Alpha Testing of QuitIT: An Interactive Video Game to Enhance Skills for Coping With Smoking Urges 
JMIR Research Protocols  2013;2(2):e35.
Background
Despite many efforts at developing relapse prevention interventions, most smokers relapse to tobacco use within a few months after quitting. Interactive games offer a novel strategy for helping people develop the skills required for successful tobacco cessation.
Objective
The objective of our study was to develop a video game that enables smokers to practice strategies for coping with smoking urges and maintaining smoking abstinence. Our team of game designers and clinical psychologists are creating a video game that integrates the principles of smoking behavior change and relapse prevention. We have reported the results of expert and end-user feedback on an alpha version of the game.
Methods
The alpha version of the game consisted of a smoking cue scenario often encountered by smokers. We recruited 5 experts in tobacco cessation research and 20 current and former smokers, who each played through the scenario. Mixed methods were used to gather feedback on the relevance of cessation content and usability of the game modality.
Results
End-users rated the interface from 3.0 to 4.6/5 in terms of ease of use and from 2.9 to 4.1/5 in terms of helpfulness of cessation content. Qualitative themes showed several user suggestions for improving the user interface, pacing, and diversity of the game characters. In addition, the users confirmed a high degree of game immersion, identification with the characters and situations, and appreciation for the multiple opportunities to practice coping strategies.
Conclusions
This study highlights the procedures for translating behavioral principles into a game dynamic and shows that our prototype has a strong potential for engaging smokers. A video game modality exemplifies problem-based learning strategies for tobacco cessation and is an innovative step in behavioral management of tobacco use.
doi:10.2196/resprot.2416
PMCID: PMC3786125  PMID: 24025236
smoking cessation; health promotion game; tobacco, quitting self efficacy; behavioral medicine; virtual reality
17.  A Systematic Critical Appraisal for Non-Pharmacological Management of Osteoarthritis Using the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation II Instrument 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e82986.
Clinical practice CPGs (CPGs) have been developed to summarize evidence related to the management of osteoarthritis (OA). CPGs facilitate uptake of evidence-based knowledge by consumers, health professionals, health administrators and policy makers. The objectives of the present review were: 1) to assess the quality of the CPGs on non-pharmacological management of OA; using a standardized and validated instrument - the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool - by three pairs of trained appraisers; and 2) to summarize the recommendations based on only high-quality existing CPGs. Scientific literature databases from 2001 to 2013 were systematically searched for the state of evidence, with 17 CPGs for OA being identified. Most CPGs effectively addressed only a minority of AGREE II domains. Scope and purpose was effectively addressed in 10 CPGs on the management of OA, stakeholder involvement in 12 CPGs, rigour of development in 10 CPGs, clarity/presentation in 17 CPGs, editorial independence in 2 CPGs, and applicability in none of the OA CPGs. The overall quality of the included CPGs, according to the 7-point AGREE II scoring system, is 4.8±0.41 for OA. Therapeutic exercises, patient education, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, orthoses and insoles, heat and cryotherapy, patellar tapping, and weight control are commonly recommended for the non-pharmacological management of OA by the high-quality CPGs. The general clinical management recommendations tended to be similar among high-quality CPGs, although interventions addressed varied. Non-pharmacological management interventions were superficially addressed in more than half of the selected CPGs. For CPGs to be standardized uniform creators should use the AGREE II criteria when developing CPGs. Innovative and effective methods of CPG implementation to users are needed to ultimately enhance the quality of life of arthritic individuals.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0082986
PMCID: PMC3888378  PMID: 24427268
18.  A Systematic Critical Appraisal of Non-Pharmacological Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e95369.
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) have been developed to summarize evidence about the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and facilitate the uptake of evidence-based knowledge by consumers, health professionals, health administrators and policy makers. The objectives of this review was to assess the quality of CPGS on non-pharmacological management of RA with a standardized and validated instrument - the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation (AGREE II) tool and summarize the key recommendations from these CPGs. Scientific literature databases from 2001 to 2013 were systematically searched and a total of 13 CPGs for RA was identified. Only a minority of AGREE II domains were effectively addressed by the CPGS. Scope and purpose was effectively addressed in 10 out of 13 CPGs, stakeholder involvement in 11 CPGs, rigor of development in 6 CPGs, clarity/presentation in 9 CPGs, editorial independence in 1 CPGs, and applicability in none of the CPGs. The overall quality of the included CPGs according to the 7-point AGREE II scoring system was 4.8±1.04. Patient education/self-management, aerobic, dynamic and stretching exercises were the commonly recommended for the non-pharmacological management of RA by the high-quality CPGs. The general clinical management recommendations tended to be similar among high-quality CPGs. Non-pharmacological management interventions were superficially addressed in more than half of the selected CPGs. CPGs creators should use the AGREE II criteria when developing guidelines. Innovative and effective methods of CPGs implementation to users are needed to ultimately enhance the quality of life of arthritic individuals. In addition, it was difficult to establish between strongly recommended, recommended and weakly recommended, as there is no consensus between the strength of the recommendations between the appraised CPGs.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095369
PMCID: PMC4026323  PMID: 24840205
19.  Implementing the 2009 Institute of Medicine recommendations on resident physician work hours, supervision, and safety 
Long working hours and sleep deprivation have been a facet of physician training in the US since the advent of the modern residency system. However, the scientific evidence linking fatigue with deficits in human performance, accidents and errors in industries from aeronautics to medicine, nuclear power, and transportation has mounted over the last 40 years. This evidence has also spawned regulations to help ensure public safety across safety-sensitive industries, with the notable exception of medicine.
In late 2007, at the behest of the US Congress, the Institute of Medicine embarked on a year-long examination of the scientific evidence linking resident physician sleep deprivation with clinical performance deficits and medical errors. The Institute of Medicine’s report, entitled “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety”, published in January 2009, recommended new limits on resident physician work hours and workload, increased supervision, a heightened focus on resident physician safety, training in structured handovers and quality improvement, more rigorous external oversight of work hours and other aspects of residency training, and the identification of expanded funding sources necessary to implement the recommended reforms successfully and protect the public and resident physicians themselves from preventable harm.
Given that resident physicians comprise almost a quarter of all physicians who work in hospitals, and that taxpayers, through Medicare and Medicaid, fund graduate medical education, the public has a deep investment in physician training. Patients expect to receive safe, high-quality care in the nation’s teaching hospitals. Because it is their safety that is at issue, their voices should be central in policy decisions affecting patient safety. It is likewise important to integrate the perspectives of resident physicians, policy makers, and other constituencies in designing new policies. However, since its release, discussion of the Institute of Medicine report has been largely confined to the medical education community, led by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
To begin gathering these perspectives and developing a plan to implement safer work hours for resident physicians, a conference entitled “Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety: What will it take to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations?” was held at Harvard Medical School on June 17–18, 2010. This White Paper is a product of a diverse group of 26 representative stakeholders bringing relevant new information and innovative practices to bear on a critical patient safety problem. Given that our conference included experts from across disciplines with diverse perspectives and interests, not every recommendation was endorsed by each invited conference participant. However, every recommendation made here was endorsed by the majority of the group, and many were endorsed unanimously. Conference members participated in the process, reviewed the final product, and provided input before publication. Participants provided their individual perspectives, which do not necessarily represent the formal views of any organization.
In September 2010 the ACGME issued new rules to go into effect on July 1, 2011. Unfortunately, they stop considerably short of the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations and those endorsed by this conference. In particular, the ACGME only applied the limitation of 16 hours to first-year resident physicans. Thus, it is clear that policymakers, hospital administrators, and residency program directors who wish to implement safer health care systems must go far beyond what the ACGME will require. We hope this White Paper will serve as a guide and provide encouragement for that effort.
Resident physician workload and supervision
By the end of training, a resident physician should be able to practice independently. Yet much of resident physicians’ time is dominated by tasks with little educational value. The caseload can be so great that inadequate reflective time is left for learning based on clinical experiences. In addition, supervision is often vaguely defined and discontinuous. Medical malpractice data indicate that resident physicians are frequently named in lawsuits, most often for lack of supervision. The recommendations are: The ACGME should adjust resident physicians workload requirements to optimize educational value. Resident physicians as well as faculty should be involved in work redesign that eliminates nonessential and noneducational activity from resident physician dutiesMechanisms should be developed for identifying in real time when a resident physician’s workload is excessive, and processes developed to activate additional providersTeamwork should be actively encouraged in delivery of patient care. Historically, much of medical training has focused on individual knowledge, skills, and responsibility. As health care delivery has become more complex, it will be essential to train resident and attending physicians in effective teamwork that emphasizes collective responsibility for patient care and recognizes the signs, both individual and systemic, of a schedule and working conditions that are too demanding to be safeHospitals should embrace the opportunities that resident physician training redesign offers. Hospitals should recognize and act on the potential benefits of work redesign, eg, increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved quality of care, and resident physician and attending job satisfactionAttending physicians should supervise all hospital admissions. Resident physicians should directly discuss all admissions with attending physicians. Attending physicians should be both cognizant of and have input into the care patients are to receive upon admission to the hospitalInhouse supervision should be required for all critical care services, including emergency rooms, intensive care units, and trauma services. Resident physicians should not be left unsupervised to care for critically ill patients. In settings in which the acuity is high, physicians who have completed residency should provide direct supervision for resident physicians. Supervising physicians should always be physically in the hospital for supervision of resident physicians who care for critically ill patientsThe ACGME should explicitly define “good” supervision by specialty and by year of training. Explicit requirements for intensity and level of training for supervision of specific clinical scenarios should be providedCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should use graduate medical education funding to provide incentives to programs with proven, effective levels of supervision. Although this action would require federal legislation, reimbursement rules would help to ensure that hospitals pay attention to the importance of good supervision and require it from their training programs
Resident physician work hours
Although the IOM “Sleep, supervision and safety” report provides a comprehensive review and discussion of all aspects of graduate medical education training, the report’s focal point is its recommendations regarding the hours that resident physicians are currently required to work. A considerable body of scientific evidence, much of it cited by the Institute of Medicine report, describes deteriorating performance in fatigued humans, as well as specific studies on resident physician fatigue and preventable medical errors.
The question before this conference was what work redesign and cultural changes are needed to reform work hours as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s evidence-based report? Extensive scientific data demonstrate that shifts exceeding 12–16 hours without sleep are unsafe. Several principles should be followed in efforts to reduce consecutive hours below this level and achieve safer work schedules. The recommendations are: Limit resident physician work hours to 12–16 hour maximum shiftsA minimum of 10 hours off duty should be scheduled between shiftsResident physician input into work redesign should be actively solicitedSchedules should be designed that adhere to principles of sleep and circadian science; this includes careful consideration of the effects of multiple consecutive night shifts, and provision of adequate time off after night work, as specified in the IOM reportResident physicians should not be scheduled up to the maximum permissible limits; emergencies frequently occur that require resident physicians to stay longer than their scheduled shifts, and this should be anticipated in scheduling resident physicians’ work shiftsHospitals should anticipate the need for iterative improvement as new schedules are initiated; be prepared to learn from the initial phase-in, and change the plan as neededAs resident physician work hours are redesigned, attending physicians should also be considered; a potential consequence of resident physician work hour reduction and increased supervisory requirements may be an increase in work for attending physicians; this should be carefully monitored, and adjustments to attending physician work schedules made as needed to prevent unsafe work hours or working conditions for this group“Home call” should be brought under the overall limits of working hours; work load and hours should be monitored in each residency program to ensure that resident physicians and fellows on home call are getting sufficient sleepMedicare funding for graduate medical education in each hospital should be linked with adherence to the Institute of Medicine limits on resident physician work hours
Moonlighting by resident physicians
The Institute of Medicine report recommended including external as well as internal moonlighting in working hour limits. The recommendation is: All moonlighting work hours should be included in the ACGME working hour limits and actively monitored. Hospitals should formalize a moonlighting policy and establish systems for actively monitoring resident physician moonlighting
Safety of resident physicians
The “Sleep, supervision and safety” report also addresses fatigue-related harm done to resident physicians themselves. The report focuses on two main sources of physical injury to resident physicians impaired by fatigue, ie, needle-stick exposure to blood-borne pathogens and motor vehicle crashes. Providing safe transportation home for resident physicians is a logistical and financial challenge for hospitals. Educating physicians at all levels on the dangers of fatigue is clearly required to change driving behavior so that safe hospital-funded transport home is used effectively. Fatigue-related injury prevention (including not driving while drowsy) should be taught in medical school and during residency, and reinforced with attending physicians; hospitals and residency programs must be informed that resident physicians’ ability to judge their own level of impairment is impaired when they are sleep deprived; hence, leaving decisions about the capacity to drive to impaired resident physicians is not recommendedHospitals should provide transportation to all resident physicians who report feeling too tired to drive safely; in addition, although consecutive work should not exceed 16 hours, hospitals should provide transportation for all resident physicians who, because of unforeseen reasons or emergencies, work for longer than consecutive 24 hours; transportation under these circumstances should be automatically provided to house staff, and should not rely on self-identification or request
Training in effective handovers and quality improvement
Handover practice for resident physicians, attendings, and other health care providers has long been identified as a weak link in patient safety throughout health care settings. Policies to improve handovers of care must be tailored to fit the appropriate clinical scenario, recognizing that information overload can also be a problem. At the heart of improving handovers is the organizational effort to improve quality, an effort in which resident physicians have typically been insufficiently engaged. The recommendations are: Hospitals should train attending and resident physicians in effective handovers of careHospitals should create uniform processes for handovers that are tailored to meet each clinical setting; all handovers should be done verbally and face-to-face, but should also utilize written toolsWhen possible, hospitals should integrate hand-over tools into their electronic medical records (EMR) systems; these systems should be standardized to the extent possible across residency programs in a hospital, but may be tailored to the needs of specific programs and services; federal government should help subsidize adoption of electronic medical records by hospitals to improve signoutWhen feasible, handovers should be a team effort including nurses, patients, and familiesHospitals should include residents in their quality improvement and patient safety efforts; the ACGME should specify in their core competency requirements that resident physicians work on quality improvement projects; likewise, the Joint Commission should require that resident physicians be included in quality improvement and patient safety programs at teaching hospitals; hospital administrators and residency program directors should create opportunities for resident physicians to become involved in ongoing quality improvement projects and root cause analysis teams; feedback on successful quality improvement interventions should be shared with resident physicians and broadly disseminatedQuality improvement/patient safety concepts should be integral to the medical school curriculum; medical school deans should elevate the topics of patient safety, quality improvement, and teamwork; these concepts should be integrated throughout the medical school curriculum and reinforced throughout residency; mastery of these concepts by medical students should be tested on the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) stepsFederal government should support involvement of resident physicians in quality improvement efforts; initiatives to improve quality by including resident physicians in quality improvement projects should be financially supported by the Department of Health and Human Services
Monitoring and oversight of the ACGME
While the ACGME is a key stakeholder in residency training, external voices are essential to ensure that public interests are heard in the development and monitoring of standards. Consequently, the Institute of Medicine report recommended external oversight and monitoring through the Joint Commission and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The recommendations are: Make comprehensive fatigue management a Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goal; fatigue is a safety concern not only for resident physicians, but also for nurses, attending physicians, and other health care workers; the Joint Commission should seek to ensure that all health care workers, not just resident physicians, are working as safely as possibleFederal government, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, should encourage development of comprehensive fatigue management programs which all health systems would eventually be required to implementMake ACGME compliance with working hours a “ condition of participation” for reimbursement of direct and indirect graduate medical education costs; financial incentives will greatly increase the adoption of and compliance with ACGME standards
Future financial support for implementation
The Institute of Medicine’s report estimates that $1.7 billion (in 2008 dollars) would be needed to implement its recommendations. Twenty-five percent of that amount ($376 million) will be required just to bring hospitals into compliance with the existing 2003 ACGME rules. Downstream savings to the health care system could potentially result from safer care, but these benefits typically do not accrue to hospitals and residency programs, who have been asked historically to bear the burden of residency reform costs. The recommendations are: The Institute of Medicine should convene a panel of stakeholders, including private and public funders of health care and graduate medical education, to lay down the concrete steps necessary to identify and allocate the resources needed to implement the recommendations contained in the IOM “Resident duty hours: Enhancing sleep, supervision and safety” report. Conference participants suggested several approaches to engage public and private support for this initiativeEfforts to find additional funding to implement the Institute of Medicine recommendations should focus more broadly on patient safety and health care delivery reform; policy efforts focused narrowly upon resident physician work hours are less likely to succeed than broad patient safety initiatives that include residency redesign as a key componentHospitals should view the Institute of Medicine recommendations as an opportunity to begin resident physician work redesign projects as the core of a business model that embraces safety and ultimately saves resourcesBoth the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should take the Institute of Medicine recommendations into consideration when promulgating rules for innovation grantsThe National Health Care Workforce Commission should consider the Institute of Medicine recommendations when analyzing the nation’s physician workforce needs
Recommendations for future research
Conference participants concurred that convening the stakeholders and agreeing on a research agenda was key. Some observed that some sectors within the medical education community have been reluctant to act on the data. Several logical funders for future research were identified. But above all agencies, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the only stakeholder that funds graduate medical education upstream and will reap savings downstream if preventable medical errors are reduced as a result of reform of resident physician work hours.
doi:10.2147/NSS.S19649
PMCID: PMC3630963  PMID: 23616719
resident; hospital; working hours; safety
20.  Retraining function in people with Parkinson’s disease using the Microsoft kinect: game design and pilot testing 
Background
Computer based gaming systems, such as the Microsoft Kinect (Kinect), can facilitate complex task practice, enhance sensory feedback and action observation in novel, relevant and motivating modes of exercise which can be difficult to achieve with standard physiotherapy for people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, there is a current need for safe, feasible and effective exercise games that are appropriate for PD rehabilitation. The aims of this study were to i) develop a computer game to rehabilitate dynamic postural control for people with PD using the Kinect; and ii) pilot test the game’s safety and feasibility in a group of people with PD.
Methods
A rehabilitation game aimed at training dynamic postural control was developed through an iterative process with input from a design workshop of people with PD. The game trains dynamic postural control through multi-directional reaching and stepping tasks, with increasing complexity across 12 levels of difficulty. Nine people with PD pilot tested the game for one session. Participant feedback to identify issues relating to safety and feasibility were collected using semi-structured interviews.
Results
Participants reported that they felt safe whilst playing the game. In addition, there were no adverse events whilst playing. In general, the participants stated that they enjoyed the game and seven of the nine participants said they could imagine themselves using the game at home, especially if they felt it would improve their balance. The Flow State Scale indicated participants were immersed in the gameplay and enjoyed the experience. However, some participants reported that they found it difficult to discriminate between different types and orientations of visual objects in the game and some also had difficulty with the stepping tasks, especially when performed at the same time as the reaching tasks.
Conclusion
Computer-based rehabilitation games using the Kinect are safe and feasible for people with PD although intervention trials are needed to test their safety, feasibility and efficacy in the home.
doi:10.1186/1743-0003-11-60
PMCID: PMC4022057  PMID: 24731758
Parkinson’s disease; Kinect; Rehabilitation; Balance; Exergaming
21.  eMedOffice: A web-based collaborative serious game for teaching optimal design of a medical practice 
BMC Medical Education  2012;12:104.
Background
Preparing medical students for the takeover or the start-up of a medical practice is an important challenge in Germany today. Therefore, this paper presents a computer-aided serious game (eMedOffice) developed and currently in use at the RWTH Aachen University Medical School. The game is part of the attempt to teach medical students the organizational and conceptual basics of the medical practice of a general practitioner in a problem-based learning environment. This paper introduces methods and concepts used to develop the serious game and describes the results of an evaluation of the game's application in curricular courses at the Medical School.
Results
Results of the conducted evaluation gave evidence of a positive learning effect of the serious game. Educational supervisors observed strong collaboration among the players inspired by the competitive gaming aspects. In addition, an increase in willingness to learn and the exploration of new self-invented ideas were observed and valuable proposals for further prospective enhancements were elicited. A statistical analysis of the results of an evaluation provided a clear indication of the positive learning effect of the game. A usability questionnaire survey revealed a very good overall score of 4.07 (5=best, 1=worst).
Conclusions
We consider web-based, collaborative serious games to be a promising means of improving medical education. The insights gained by the implementation of eMedOffice will promote the future development of more effective serious games for integration into curricular courses of the RWTH Aachen University Medical School.
doi:10.1186/1472-6920-12-104
PMCID: PMC3506465  PMID: 23110606
Computer-Assisted Instruction/methods; Games, Experimental; Teaching/methods, Education, Medical; Undergraduate/methods; User-Computer Interface
22.  Healthy Gaming – Video Game Design to promote Health 
Applied Clinical Informatics  2011;2(2):128-142.
Background
There is an increasing interest in health games including simulation tools, games for specific conditions, persuasive games to promote a healthy life style or exergames where physical exercise is used to control the game.
Objective
The objective of the article is to review current literature about available health games and the impact related to game design principles as well as some educational theory aspects.
Methods
Literature from the big databases and known sites with games for health has been searched to find articles about games for health purposes. The focus has been on educational games, persuasive games and exergames as well as articles describing game design principles.
Results
The medical objectives can either be a part of the game theme (intrinsic) or be totally dispatched (extrinsic), and particularly persuasive games seem to use extrinsic game design. Peer support is important, but there is only limited research on multiplayer health games. Evaluation of health games can be both medical and technical, and the focus will depend on the game purpose.
Conclusion
There is still not enough evidence to conclude which design principles work for what purposes since most of the literature in health serious games does not specify design methodologies, but it seems that extrinsic methods work in persuasion. However, when designing health care games it is important to define both the target group and main objective, and then design a game accordingly using sound game design principles, but also utilizing design elements to enhance learning and persuasion. A collaboration with health professionals from an early design stage is necessary both to ensure that the content is valid and to have the game validated from a clinical viewpoint. Patients need to be involved, especially to improve usability. More research should be done on social aspects in health games, both related to learning and persuasion.
doi:10.4338/ACI-2010-10-R-0060
PMCID: PMC3631924  PMID: 23616865
Implementation and deployment; Education; Consumer health; Human-computer interaction; Interfaces and usability; Game design; Educational game design; Instructional design; Pedagogy of gaming; Instructional technology
23.  Multi-faceted Approach to Improve Learning in Pharmacokinetics 
Objectives
To integrate a series of educational strategies ranging from content delivery to assessment, including a change in philosophy regarding the use of in-class time, to enhance learning of pharmacokinetics.
Methods
Several approaches were taken to develop a significant learning experience in the basic and clinical pharmacokinetics courses including games, a piloted multimedia module to offset content delivery and free-up class time, reflective writing, and an immediate feedback assessment. Games, a multimedia module, reflective writing assignments, and other innovative learning tools were incorporated into pharmacokinetics courses, as well as an assessment tool to provide immediate feedback.
Results
Median examination scores did not improve following the incorporation of the teaching innovations; however, based on survey results, student satisfaction increased.
Conclusions
Already high median examination scores (>90% from historical controls) did not improve; however, the effectiveness of the innovations implemented, which included deep learning and critical thinking and communication skills, may be more accurately measured over the long term, eg, in performance in advanced pharmacy practice experiences.
PMCID: PMC2384211  PMID: 18483602
multimedia; reflective writing; games; pharmacokinetics
24.  Systematic and transparent inclusion of ethical issues and recommendations in clinical practice guidelines: a six-step approach 
Background
Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), a core tool to foster medical professionalism, differ widely in whether and how they address disease-specific ethical issues (DSEIs), and current manuals for CPG development are silent on this issue. The implementation of an explicit method faces two core challenges: first, it adds further complexity to CPG development and requires human and financial resources. Second, in contrast to the in-depth treatment of ethical issues that is standard in bioethics, the inclusion of DSEIs in CPGs need to be more pragmatic, reductive, and simplistic, but without rendering the resulting recommendations useless or insufficiently justified. This paper outlines a six-step approach, EthicsGuide, for the systematic and transparent inclusion of ethical issues and recommendations in CPGs.
Methods
The development of EthicsGuide is based on (a) methodological standards in evidence-based CPG development, (b) principles of bioethics, (c) research findings on how DSEIs are currently addressed in CPGs, and (d) findings from two proof-of-concept analyses of the EthicsGuide approach.
Results
The six steps are 1) determine the DSEI spectrum and the need for ethical recommendations; 2) develop statements on which to base ethical recommendations; 3) categorize, classify, condense, and paraphrase the statements; 4) write recommendations in a standard form; 5) validate and justify recommendations, making any necessary modifications; and 6) address consent. All six steps necessarily come into play when including DSEIs in CPGs.
Conclusions
If DSEIs are not explicitly addressed, they are unavoidably dealt with implicitly. We believe that as ethicists gain greater involvement in decision-making about health, personal rights, or economic issues, they should make their methods transparent and replicable by other researchers; and as ethical issues become more widely reflected in CPGs, CPG developers have to learn how to address them in a methodologically adequate way. The approach proposed should serve as a basis for further discussion on how to reach these goals. It breaks open the black box of what ethicists implicitly do when they develop recommendations. Further, interdisciplinary discussion and pilot tests are needed to explore the minimal requirements that guarantee a simplified procedure which is still acceptable and does not become mere window dressing.
doi:10.1186/s13012-014-0184-y
PMCID: PMC4265426  PMID: 25472446
Clinical practice guideline; Guideline development; Ethical recommendation; Clinical ethics; Medical professionalism
25.  Personal, Social, and Game-Related Correlates of Active and Non-Active Gaming Among Dutch Gaming Adolescents: Survey-Based Multivariable, Multilevel Logistic Regression Analyses 
JMIR Serious Games  2014;2(1):e4.
Background
Playing video games contributes substantially to sedentary behavior in youth. A new generation of video games—active games—seems to be a promising alternative to sedentary games to promote physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior. At this time, little is known about correlates of active and non-active gaming among adolescents.
Objective
The objective of this study was to examine potential personal, social, and game-related correlates of both active and non-active gaming in adolescents.
Methods
A survey assessing game behavior and potential personal, social, and game-related correlates was conducted among adolescents (12-16 years, N=353) recruited via schools. Multivariable, multilevel logistic regression analyses, adjusted for demographics (age, sex and educational level of adolescents), were conducted to examine personal, social, and game-related correlates of active gaming ≥1 hour per week (h/wk) and non-active gaming >7 h/wk.
Results
Active gaming ≥1 h/wk was significantly associated with a more positive attitude toward active gaming (OR 5.3, CI 2.4-11.8; P<.001), a less positive attitude toward non-active games (OR 0.30, CI 0.1-0.6; P=.002), a higher score on habit strength regarding gaming (OR 1.9, CI 1.2-3.2; P=.008) and having brothers/sisters (OR 6.7, CI 2.6-17.1; P<.001) and friends (OR 3.4, CI 1.4-8.4; P=.009) who spend more time on active gaming and a little bit lower score on game engagement (OR 0.95, CI 0.91-0.997; P=.04). Non-active gaming >7 h/wk was significantly associated with a more positive attitude toward non-active gaming (OR 2.6, CI 1.1-6.3; P=.035), a stronger habit regarding gaming (OR 3.0, CI 1.7-5.3; P<.001), having friends who spend more time on non-active gaming (OR 3.3, CI 1.46-7.53; P=.004), and a more positive image of a non-active gamer (OR 2, CI 1.07–3.75; P=.03).
Conclusions
Various factors were significantly associated with active gaming ≥1 h/wk and non-active gaming >7 h/wk. Active gaming is most strongly (negatively) associated with attitude with respect to non-active games, followed by observed active game behavior of brothers and sisters and attitude with respect to active gaming (positive associations). On the other hand, non-active gaming is most strongly associated with observed non-active game behavior of friends, habit strength regarding gaming and attitude toward non-active gaming (positive associations). Habit strength was a correlate of both active and non-active gaming, indicating that both types of gaming are habitual behaviors. Although these results should be interpreted with caution because of the limitations of the study, they do provide preliminary insights into potential correlates of active and non-active gaming that can be used for further research as well as preliminary direction for the development of effective intervention strategies for replacing non-active gaming by active gaming among adolescents.
doi:10.2196/games.3092
PMCID: PMC4307820  PMID: 25654657
video games; interactive games; active games; adolescent; sedentary lifestyle; physical activity; determinants

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