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1.  Curricula for teaching the content of clinical practice guidelines to family medicine and internal medicine residents in the US: a survey study 
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.
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.
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%).
Residency programs teach different aspects of CPGs to varying degrees, and the majority uses educational strategies not supported by research evidence.
PMCID: PMC2753632  PMID: 19772570
2.  Direct Versus Indirect Supervision of Fellows Covering Football Events: A Survey of Fellows and Program Directors 
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) program requirements mandate “adequate supervision,” of residents, but there is little guidance for sports medicine fellowship directors regarding the transition from direct to indirect supervision of fellows covering football games.
We sought to gather evidence of current supervision practices in the context of injury outcomes.
Fellows and program directors of ACGME-accredited sports medicine fellowship programs were invited to complete an online survey regarding their experience and current supervision practice at football games. Criteria for transition to autonomy and desired changes in supervision practice were elicited. Player safety was quantified by noting the number of field-side emergencies, whether an attending was present, and whether better outcomes might have resulted from the presence of an attending.
A total of 80 fellows and 50 program directors completed the online survey. Direct supervision was lacking in about 50% of high school games and 20% of college games. A resulting cost in terms of player safety was estimated to apply to 5% of serious injuries by fellows' report but less than 0.5% by directors' report. Written criteria for transitioning from direct supervision to autonomy were the exception rather than the rule. The majority of fellows and directors expressed satisfaction with the current level of supervision, but 20% of fellows would prefer more supervision through postgame review.
Football games covered by fellows are often not directly supervised. Absence of an attending affected the outcomes of 5% or less of serious injuries. Transition to autonomy does not usually require meeting written criteria. Fellows might benefit from additional off-site supervision.
PMCID: PMC2951787  PMID: 21976096
3.  Burnout and Distress Among Internal Medicine Program Directors: Results of A National Survey 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2013;28(8):1056-1063.
Physician burnout and distress has been described in national studies of practicing physicians, internal medicine (IM) residents, IM clerkship directors, and medical school deans. However, no comparable national data exist for IM residency program directors.
To assess burnout and distress among IM residency program directors, and to evaluate relationships of distress with personal and program characteristics and perceptions regarding implementation and consequences of Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) regulations.
The 2010 Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) Annual Survey, developed by the APDIM Survey Committee, was sent in August 2010 to the 377 program directors with APDIM membership, representing 99.0 % of the 381 United States categorical IM residency programs.
The 2010 APDIM Annual Survey included validated items on well-being and distress, including questions addressing quality of life, satisfaction with work-life balance, and burnout. Questions addressing personal and program characteristics and perceptions regarding implementation and consequences of ACGME regulations were also included.
Of 377 eligible program directors, 282 (74.8 %) completed surveys. Among respondents, 12.4 % and 28.8 % rated their quality of life and satisfaction with work-life balance negatively, respectively. Also, 27.0 % reported emotional exhaustion, 10.4 % reported depersonalization, and 28.7 % reported overall burnout. These rates were lower than those reported previously in national studies of medical students, IM residents, practicing physicians, IM clerkship directors, and medical school deans. Aspects of distress were more common among younger program directors, women, and those reporting greater weekly work hours. Work–home conflicts were common and associated with all domains of distress, especially if not resolved in a manner effectively balancing work and home responsibilities. Associations with program characteristics such as program size and American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) pass rates were not found apart from higher rates of depersonalization among directors of community-based programs (23.5 % vs. 8.6 %, p = 0.01). We did not observe any consistent associations between distress and perceptions of implementation and consequences of program regulations.
The well-being of IM program directors across domains, including quality of life, satisfaction with work-life balance, and burnout, appears generally superior to that of medical trainees, practicing physicians, and other medical educators nationally. Additionally, it is reassuring that program directors' perceptions of their ability to respond to current regulatory requirements are not adversely associated with distress. However, the increased distress levels among younger program directors, women, and those at community-based training programs reported in this study are important concerns worthy of further study.
PMCID: PMC3710382  PMID: 23595924
graduate medical education; residency; burnout; well-being
4.  Healthy Gaming – Video Game Design to promote Health 
Applied Clinical Informatics  2011;2(2):128-142.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
5.  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.
PMCID: PMC3630963  PMID: 23616719
resident; hospital; working hours; safety
6.  International electives in neurology training 
Neurology  2014;82(2):119-125.
To ascertain the current status of global health training and humanitarian relief opportunities in US and Canadian postgraduate neurology programs.
There is a growing interest among North American trainees to pursue medical electives in low- and middle-income countries. Such training opportunities provide many educational and humanitarian benefits but also pose several challenges related to organization, human resources, funding, and trainee and patient safety. The current support and engagement of neurology postgraduate training programs for trainees to pursue international rotations is unknown.
A survey was distributed to all program directors in the United States and Canada (December 2012–February 2013) through the American Academy of Neurology to assess the training opportunities, institutional partnerships, and support available for international neurology electives.
Approximately half of responding programs (53%) allow residents to pursue global health–related electives, and 11% reported that at least 1 trainee participated in humanitarian relief during training (survey response rate 61%, 143/234 program directors). Canadian programs were more likely to allow residents to pursue international electives than US programs (10/11, 91% vs 65/129, 50%, p = 0.023). The number of trainees participating in international electives was low: 0%–9% of residents (55% of programs) and 10%–19% of residents (21% of programs). Lack of funding was the most commonly cited reason for residents not participating in global health electives. If funding was available, 93% of program directors stated there would be time for residents to participate. Most program directors (75%) were interested in further information on global health electives.
In spite of high perceived interest, only half of US neurology training programs include international electives, mostly due to a reported lack of funding. By contrast, the majority of Canadian programs that responded allow international electives, likely due to clearer guidelines from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada compared to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education. However, the number of both Canadian and US neurology trainees venturing abroad remains a minority. Most program directors are interested in learning more information related to global health electives for neurology residents.
PMCID: PMC3897435  PMID: 24319037
7.  Characteristics of evidence-based medicine training in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada emergency medicine residencies - a national survey of program directors 
BMC Medical Education  2014;14:57.
Recent surveys suggest few emergency medicine (EM) training programs have formal evidence-based medicine (EBM) or journal club curricula. Our primary objective was to describe the methods of EBM training in Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) EM residencies. Secondary objectives were to explore attitudes regarding current educational practices including e-learning, investigate barriers to journal club and EBM education, and assess the desire for national collaboration.
A 16-question survey containing binary, open-ended, and 5-pt Likert scale questions was distributed to the 14 RCPSC-EM program directors. Proportions of respondents (%), median, and IQR are reported.
The response rate was 93% (13/14). Most programs (85%) had established EBM curricula. Curricula content was delivered most frequently via journal club, with 62% of programs having 10 or more sessions annually. Less than half of journal clubs (46%) were led consistently by EBM experts. Four programs did not use a critical appraisal tool in their sessions (31%). Additional teaching formats included didactic and small group sessions, self-directed e-learning, EBM workshops, and library tutorials. 54% of programs operated educational websites with EBM resources. Program directors attributed highest importance to two core goals in EBM training curricula: critical appraisal of medical literature, and application of literature to patient care (85% rating 5 - “most importance”, respectively). Podcasts, blogs, and online journal clubs were valued for EBM teaching roles including creating exposure to literature (4, IQR 1.5) and linking literature to clinical practice experience (4, IQR 1.5) (1-no merit, 5-strong merit). Five of thirteen respondents rated lack of expert leadership and trained faculty educators as potential limitations to EBM education. The majority of respondents supported the creation of a national unified EBM educational resource (4, IQR 1) (1-no support, 5- strongly support).
RCPSC-EM programs have established EBM teaching curricula and deliver content most frequently via journal club. A lack of EBM expert educators may limit content delivery at certain sites. Program directors supported the nationalization of EBM educational resources. A growing usage of electronic resources may represent an avenue to link national EBM educational expertise, facilitating future collaborative educational efforts.
PMCID: PMC3994414  PMID: 24650317
Evidence-based medicine; Medical education; Emergency medicine; E-learning; Journal club
8.  The current status of sports medicine training in United States internal medicine residency programmes 
Objective: To determine the general status of sports medicine training in internal medicine residency programmes in the United States.
Methods: A cross sectional survey of the programme directors and chief residents of each of the 407 accredited internal medicine programmes listed in the 1999–2000 Graduate Medical Education Directory.
Results: The questionnaire was returned by 231 of 404 (57%) programme directors and 233 of 404 (58%) chief residents. A chief and director of the same programme (paired responses) replied from 144 of 404 (36%) programmes surveyed. A formal sports medicine curriculum was reported by 22.1% of programme directors. Programmes with a formal curriculum were 2.9 times more likely to offer any of the sports medicine educational experiences (p<0.0001; Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel). Programmes with block rotations were more likely to include all of the educational experiences surveyed than those without (p<0.002 for each; χ2 test). A total of 162 programmes included sports medicine as part of other rotations. Most programmes only included sports medicine as part of other rotations: 44.6% (103/231) of all programmes and 63.6% (103/162) of programmes with sports medicine as part of other rotations. Some 29.9% (69/231) of directors reported having an elective, and 3.9% (9/231) reported a required rotation. Almost a quarter (21.7%; 50/231) of directors reported that their residents received no clinical experience in sports medicine.
Conclusions: Little attention is given to the subject of sports medicine when internal medicine residency curricula are developed in the United States. Thus only a small percentage of American internal medicine residency programmes provide significant training in sports medicine.
PMCID: PMC1724652  PMID: 12782546
9.  An educational game for teaching clinical practice guidelines to Internal Medicine residents: development, feasibility and acceptability 
Adherence to Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) remains suboptimal among internal medicine trainees. Educational games are of growing interest and have the potential to improve adherence to CPGs. The objectives of this study were to develop an educational game to teach CPGs in Internal Medicine residency programs and to evaluate its feasibility and acceptability.
We developed the Guide-O-Game© in the format of a TV game show with questions based on recommendations of CPGs. The development of the Guide-O-Game© consisted of the creation of a multimedia interactive tool, the development of recommendation-based questions, and the definition of the game's rules. We evaluated its feasibility through pilot testing and its acceptability through a qualitative process.
The multimedia interactive tool uses a Macromedia Flash web application and consists of a manager interface and a user interface. The user interface allows the choice of two game styles. We created so far 16 sets of questions relating to 9 CPGs. The pilot testing proved that the game was feasible. The qualitative evaluation showed that residents considered the game to be acceptable.
We developed an educational game to teach CPGs to Internal Medicine residents that is both feasible and acceptable. Future work should evaluate its impact on educational outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2631007  PMID: 19017400
10.  Medicine in the 21st Century: Recommended Essential Geriatrics Competencies for Internal Medicine and Family Medicine Residents 
Physician workforce projections by the Institute of Medicine require enhanced training in geriatrics for all primary care and subspecialty physicians. Defining essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residents would improve training for primary care and subspecialty physicians. The objectives of this study were to (1) define essential geriatrics competencies common to internal medicine and family medicine residents that build on established national geriatrics competencies for medical students, are feasible within current residency programs, are assessable, and address the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies; and (2) involve key stakeholder organizations in their development and implementation.
Initial candidate competencies were defined through small group meetings and a survey of more than 100 experts, followed by detailed item review by 26 program directors and residency clinical educators from key professional organizations. Throughout, an 8-member working group made revisions to maintain consistency and compatibility among the competencies. Support and participation by key stakeholder organizations were secured throughout the project.
The process identified 26 competencies in 7 domains: Medication Management; Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health; Complex or Chronic Illness(es) in Older Adults; Palliative and End-of-Life Care; Hospital Patient Safety; Transitions of Care; and Ambulatory Care. The competencies map directly onto the medical student geriatric competencies and the 6 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Competencies.
Through a consensus-building process that included leadership and members of key stakeholder organizations, a concise set of essential geriatrics competencies for internal medicine and family medicine residencies has been developed. These competencies are well aligned with concerns for residency training raised in a recent Medicare Payment Advisory Commission report to Congress. Work is underway through stakeholder organizations to disseminate and assess the competencies among internal medicine and family medicine residency programs.
PMCID: PMC2951777  PMID: 21976086
11.  Training Internal Medicine Residents in Outpatient HIV Care: A Survey of Program Directors 
The care of patients with HIV is increasingly focused on outpatient chronic disease management. It is not known to what extent internal medicine residents in the US are currently being trained in or encouraged to provide primary care for this population of patients.
To survey internal medicine residency program directors about their attitudes regarding training in outpatient HIV care and current program practices.
Program directors were surveyed first by email. Non-responding programs were mailed up to two copies of the survey.
All internal medicine residency program directors in the US.
Main Measures
Program director attitudes and residency descriptions.
Key Results
Of the 372 program directors surveyed, 230 responded (61.8 %). Forty-two percent of program directors agreed that it is important to train residents to be primary care providers for patients with HIV. Teaching outpatient-based HIV curricula was a priority for 45.1%, and 56.5% reported that exposing residents to outpatient HIV clinical care was a high priority. Only 46.5% of programs offer a dedicated rotation in outpatient HIV care, and 50.5% of programs have curricula in place to teach about outpatient HIV care. Only 18.8% of program directors believed their graduates had the skills to be primary providers for patients with HIV, and 70.6% reported that residents interested in providing care for patients with HIV pursued ID fellowships. The strongest reasons cited for limited HIV training during residency were beliefs that patients with HIV prefer to be seen and receive better care in ID clinics compared to general medicine clinics.
With a looming HIV workforce shortage, we believe that internal medicine programs should create educational experiences that will provide their residents with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the healthcare needs of this population.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11606-010-1398-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2917660  PMID: 20505999
HIV/AIDS; primary care; medical education; residency education; workforce
12.  Results From a Transitional-Year Program Director Survey: Identifying Crucial Issues and Concerns 
Transitional Year (TY) programs meet an important need by preparing residents for specialties that accept individuals after an initial preparatory year. To our knowledge, no surveys to date have been conducted to identify attributes of TY programs and concerns of TY program directors.
The purpose of this study was to review TY program characteristics and identify critical issues and concerns of TY program directors (TYPDs).
A web-based, 22-question survey was sent to all 114 TYPDs of programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education between January and April 2011. The survey included open-formatted and closed-formatted questions addressing program and institution demographics, program director time, administrative support, satisfaction, and future plans.
The survey response rate was 86%. The median age of TY programs was 28 years, with few new programs. More than 80% of TY programs were conducted at community hospitals and university-affiliated community hospitals. Of the responding TYPDs, 17% had served less than 2 years, and 32% had served 10 years or more. Common sponsoring TY programs included internal medicine (88%), general surgery (42%), family medicine (25%), emergency medicine (24%), and pediatrics (18%). Overall, TYPDs were satisfied with their positions. They expressed concerns about inadequate time to complete duties, salary support, and administrative duties assigned to program coordinators. Forty-nine percent of TYPDs reported they planned to leave the position within the next 5 years.
Our survey provides useful information to assist institutions and the graduate medical education community in meeting the needs of TYPDs and strengthening TY programs.
PMCID: PMC3312529  PMID: 23451303
13.  Incorporating Evidence-based Medicine into Resident Education: A CORD Survey of Faculty and Resident Expectations 
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) invokes evidence-based medicine (EBM) principles through the practice-based learning core competency. The authors hypothesized that among a representative sample of emergency medicine (EM) residency programs, a wide variability in EBM resident training priorities, faculty expertise expectations, and curricula exists.
The primary objective was to obtain descriptive data regarding EBM practices and expectations from EM physician educators. Our secondary objective was to assess differences in EBM educational priorities among journal club directors compared with non–journal club directors.
A 19-question survey was developed by a group of recognized EBM curriculum innovators and then disseminated to Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) conference participants, assessing their opinions regarding essential EBM skill sets and EBM curricular expectations for residents and faculty at their home institutions. The survey instrument also identified the degree of interest respondents had in receiving a free monthly EBM journal club curriculum.
A total of 157 individuals registered for the conference, and 98 completed the survey. Seventy-seven (77% of respondents) were either residency program directors or assistant / associate program directors. The majority of participants were from university-based programs and in practice at least 5 years. Respondents reported the ability to identify flawed research (45%), apply research findings to patient care (43%), and comprehend research methodology (33%) as the most important resident skill sets. The majority of respondents reported no formal journal club or EBM curricula (75%) and do not utilize structured critical appraisal instruments (71%) when reviewing the literature. While journal club directors believed that resident learners’ most important EBM skill is to identify secondary peer-reviewed resources, non–journal club directors identified residents’ ability to distinguish significantly flawed research as the key skill to develop. Interest in receiving a free monthly EBM journal club curriculum was widely accepted (89%).
Attaining EBM proficiency is an expected outcome of graduate medical education (GME) training, although the specific domains of anticipated expertise differ between faculty and residents. Few respondents currently use a formalized curriculum to guide the development of EBM skill sets. There appears to be a high level of interest in obtaining EBM journal club educational content in a structured format. Measuring the effects of providing journal club curriculum content in conjunction with other EBM interventions may warrant further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3219923  PMID: 21199085
evidence-based medicine; knowledge translation; faculty development
14.  Educating physicians about women's health. Survey of Canadian family medicine residency programs. 
Canadian Family Physician  1994;40:900-905.
OBJECTIVE: To identify which women's health issues are taught in the 2-year core curriculum of Canadian family medicine residency programs and whether educators think their current teaching of women's health is adequate. DESIGN: Mailed survey using a questionnaire. PARTICIPANTS: All program and unit directors of the 16 Canadian family medicine residency training programs were surveyed. Replies were received from 63% (10 of 16) of program directors and 79% (55 of 70) of unit directors. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Percentage of programs teaching specific women's health topics from a list of 21 possible topics; percentage offering educational opportunities with sexual assault teams and women's shelters; participants' assessment of the adequacy of current teaching in each training program; plans to increase women's health education. RESULTS: Topics such as violence against women and medical conditions more common among women were taught in more than 80% of programs, but poverty and the health care concerns of Native and immigrant women were included in fewer than 40% of programs. Half of the program directors indicated that residents were given educational opportunities with sexual assault teams or women's shelters. Unit directors gave a lower estimate. Most (90%) program directors thought their current teaching of women's health issues was inadequate and had plans to increase it, as did 64% of unit directors. CONCLUSION: Violence against women and the traditional medical topics of osteoporosis, weight disorders, and reproductive and breast cancer are frequently taught in family medicine training programs. However, the social and cultural aspects of health are addressed less often. It is encouraging that many family medicine programs plan to increase their teaching of women's health.
PMCID: PMC2380186  PMID: 8038635
15.  Game-based versus traditional case-based learning 
Canadian Family Physician  2010;56(9):e345-e351.
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.
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.
Ontario provincial family medicine conference.
Thirty-two family physicians and 3 senior family medicine residents attending the conference.
Participation in either a game-based or a case-based CME learning group.
Scores on 40-item immediate and 3-month posttests of knowledge and a satisfaction survey.
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.
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
16.  Duty Hour Recommendations and Implications for Meeting the ACGME Core Competencies: Views of Residency Directors 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings  2011;86(3):185-191.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the views of residency program directors regarding the effect of the 2010 duty hour recommendations on the 6 core competencies of graduate medical education.
METHODS: US residency program directors in internal medicine, pediatrics, and general surgery were e-mailed a survey from July 8 through July 20, 2010, after the 2010 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty hour recommendations were published. Directors were asked to rate the implications of the new recommendations for the 6 ACGME core competencies as well as for continuity of inpatient care and resident fatigue.
RESULTS: Of 719 eligible program directors, 464 (65%) responded. Most program directors believe that the new ACGME recommendations will decrease residents' continuity with hospitalized patients (404/464 [87%]) and will not change (303/464 [65%]) or will increase (26/464 [6%]) resident fatigue. Additionally, most program directors (249-363/464 [53%-78%]) believe that the new duty hour restrictions will decrease residents' ability to develop competency in 5 of the 6 core areas. Surgery directors were more likely than internal medicine directors to believe that the ACGME recommendations will decrease residents' competency in patient care (odds ratio [OR], 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5-6.3), medical knowledge (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-3.2), practice-based learning and improvement (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.7-4.4), interpersonal and communication skills (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-3.0), and professionalism (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.5-4.0).
CONCLUSION: Residency program directors' reactions to ACGME duty hour recommendations demonstrate a marked degree of concern about educating a competent generation of future physicians in the face of increasing duty hour standards and regulation.
The reactions of residency program directors to the ACGME duty hour recommendations demonstrate a marked degree of concern about educating a competent generation of future physicians in the face of increasing duty hour standards and regulation.
PMCID: PMC3046937  PMID: 21307391
17.  Resident Research and Scholarly Activity in Internal Medicine Residency Training Programs 
1) To describe how internal medicine residency programs fulfill the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) scholarly activity training requirement including the current context of resident scholarly work, and 2) to compare findings between university and nonuniversity programs.
Cross-sectional mailed survey.
ACGME-accredited internal medicine residency programs.
Internal medicine residency program directors.
Data were collected on 1) interpretation of the scholarly activity requirement, 2) support for resident scholarship, 3) scholarly activities of residents, 4) attitudes toward resident research, and 5) program characteristics. University and nonuniversity programs were compared.
The response rate was 78%. Most residents completed a topic review with presentation (median, 100%) to fulfill the requirement. Residents at nonuniversity programs were more likely to complete case reports (median, 40% vs 25%; P =.04) and present at local or regional meetings (median, 25% vs 20%; P =.01), and were just as likely to conduct hypothesis-driven research (median, 20% vs 20%; P =.75) and present nationally (median, 10% vs 5%; P =.10) as residents at university programs. Nonuniversity programs were more likely to report lack of faculty mentors (61% vs 31%; P <.001) and resident interest (55% vs 40%; P =.01) as major barriers to resident scholarship. Programs support resident scholarship through research curricula (47%), funding (46%), and protected time (32%).
Internal medicine residents complete a variety of projects to fulfill the scholarly activity requirement. Nonuniversity programs are doing as much as university programs in meeting the requirement and supporting resident scholarship despite reporting significant barriers.
PMCID: PMC1490049  PMID: 15836549
ACGME; resident research; medical education; national survey
18.  Enhancing Teamwork Between Chief Residents and Residency Program Directors: Description and Outcomes of an Experiential Workshop 
An effective working relationship between chief residents and residency program directors is critical to a residency program's success. Despite the importance of this relationship, few studies have explored the characteristics of an effective program director-chief resident partnership or how to facilitate collaboration between the 2 roles, which collectively are important to program quality and resident satisfaction. We describe the development and impact of a novel workshop that paired program directors with their incoming chief residents to facilitate improved partnerships.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education sponsored a full-day workshop for residency program directors and their incoming chief residents. Sessions focused on increased understanding of personality styles, using experiential learning, and open communication between chief residents and program directors, related to feedback and expectations of each other. Participants completed an anonymous survey immediately after the workshop and again 8 months later to assess its long-term impact.
Participants found the workshop to be a valuable experience, with comments revealing common themes. Program directors and chief residents expect each other to act as a role model for the residents, be approachable and available, and to be transparent and fair in their decision-making processes; both groups wanted feedback on performance and clear expectations from each other for roles and responsibilities; and both groups identified the need to be innovative and supportive of changes in the program. Respondents to the follow-up survey reported that workshop participation improved their relationships with their co-chiefs and program directors.
Participation in this experiential workshop improved the working relationships between chief residents and program directors. The themes that were identified can be used to foster communication between incoming chief residents and residency directors and to develop a curriculum for chief resident development.
PMCID: PMC3244337  PMID: 23205220
19.  Medical student attitudes toward video games and related new media technologies in medical education 
BMC Medical Education  2010;10:50.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PMCID: PMC2908629  PMID: 20576125
20.  Alternative Approaches to Ambulatory Training: Internal Medicine Residents’ and Program Directors’ Perspectives 
Internal medicine ambulatory training redesign, including recommendations to increase ambulatory training, is a focus of national discussion. Residents’ and program directors’ perceptions about ambulatory training models are unknown.
To describe internal medicine residents’ and program directors’ perceptions regarding ambulatory training duration, alternative ambulatory training models, and factors important for ambulatory education.
National cohort study.
Internal medicine residents (N = 14,941) and program directors (N = 222) who completed the 2007 Internal Medicine In-Training Examination (IM-ITE) Residents Questionnaire or Program Directors Survey, representing 389 US residency programs.
A total of 58.4% of program directors and 43.7% of residents preferred one-third or more training time in outpatient settings. Resident preferences for one-third or more outpatient training increased with higher levels of training (48.3% PGY3), female sex (52.7%), primary care program enrollment (64.8%), and anticipated outpatient-focused career, such as geriatrics. Most program directors (77.3%) and residents (58.4%) preferred training models containing weekly clinic. Although residents and program directors reported problems with competing inpatient-outpatient responsibilities (74.9% and 88.1%, respectively) and felt that absence of conflict with inpatient responsibilities is important for good outpatient training (69.4% and 74.2%, respectively), only 41.6% of residents and 22.7% of program directors supported models eliminating ambulatory sessions during inpatient rotations.
Residents’ and program directors’ preferences for outpatient training differ from recommendations for increased ambulatory training. Discordance was observed between reported problems with conflicting inpatient-outpatient responsibilities and preferences for models maintaining longitudinal clinic during inpatient rotations. Further study regarding benefits and barriers of ambulatory redesign is needed.
PMCID: PMC2710468  PMID: 19475458
medical education-graduate; ambulatory care; curriculum/program evaluation; medical student and residency education
21.  The State of Evaluation in Internal Medicine Residency 
Journal of General Internal Medicine  2008;23(7):1010-1015.
There are no nationwide data on the methods residency programs are using to assess trainee competence. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has recommended tools that programs can use to evaluate their trainees. It is unknown if programs are adhering to these recommendations.
To describe evaluation methods used by our nation’s internal medicine residency programs and assess adherence to ACGME methodological recommendations for evaluation.
Nationwide survey.
All internal medicine programs registered with the Association of Program Directors of Internal Medicine (APDIM).
Descriptive statistics of programs and tools used to evaluate competence; compliance with ACGME recommended evaluative methods.
The response rate was 70%. Programs were using an average of 4.2–6.0 tools to evaluate their trainees with heavy reliance on rating forms. Direct observation and practice and data-based tools were used much less frequently. Most programs were using at least 1 of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)’s “most desirable” methods of evaluation for all 6 measures of trainee competence. These programs had higher support staff to resident ratios than programs using less desirable evaluative methods.
Residency programs are using a large number and variety of tools for evaluating the competence of their trainees. Most are complying with ACGME recommended methods of evaluation especially if the support staff to resident ratio is high.
PMCID: PMC2517950  PMID: 18612734
graduate medical education; residency; ACGME; competency
22.  Septris: A Novel, Mobile, Online, Simulation Game That Improves Sepsis Recognition and Management 
Academic Medicine  2015;90(2):180-184.
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.
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 ( 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.
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.
PMCID: PMC4323568  PMID: 25517703
23.  Critical Care Education During Internal Medicine Residency: A National Survey 
Current training practices and teaching methods for critical care medicine education during internal medicine residency have not been well described. This study explored critical care medicine education practices and environments for internal medicine residents in the United States.
A web-based survey recruited Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine fellowship program directors involved with internal medicine residency programs at academic institutions in the United States.
Of 127 accredited Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine programs in 2007, 63 (50%) responded. Demographics of the intensive care units varied widely in size (7–52 beds), monthly admissions (25–300 patients), and presence of a “night float” (22%) or an admissions “cap” (34%). All programs used bedside teaching, and the majority used informal sessions (91%) or didactic lectures (75%). More time was spent on resident teaching in larger (≥20 bed) medical intensive care units, on weekdays, in programs with a night-float system, and in programs that suspended residents' primary care clinic duties during their intensive care unit rotation.
Although similar teaching methods were used within a wide range of training environments, there is no standardized approach to critical care medicine education for internal medicine residents. Some survey responses indicated a correlation with additional teaching time.
PMCID: PMC3010939  PMID: 22132277
24.  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.
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.
The objective of this study was to examine potential personal, social, and game-related correlates of both active and non-active gaming in adolescents.
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.
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).
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.
PMCID: PMC4307820  PMID: 25654657
video games; interactive games; active games; adolescent; sedentary lifestyle; physical activity; determinants
25.  Wellness Partners: Design and Evaluation of a Web-Based Physical Activity Diary with Social Gaming Features for Adults 
JMIR Research Protocols  2013;2(1):e10.
The United States is currently in an age of obesity and inactivity despite increasing public awareness and scientific knowledge of detrimental long-term health effects of this lifestyle. Behavior-tracking diaries offer an effective strategy for physical activity adherence and weight management. Furthermore, Web-based physical activity diaries can engage meaningful partners in people’s social networks through fun online gaming interactions and generate motivational mechanisms for effective behavioral change and positive health outcomes.
Wellness Partners (WP) is a Web-based intervention in the form of a physical activity diary with social networking and game features. Two versions were designed and developed for the purpose of this study—“Diary” only and “Diary+Game”. The objectives of this study included pilot testing the research process of this intervention design, implementation, evaluation, and exploring the effectiveness of social gaming features on adult participants’ physical activity and anthropometric measures.
We conducted a field experiment with randomized crossover design. Assessments occurred at baseline, first follow-up (FU, 5-8 weeks after using one version of WP), and second FU (5-8 weeks of using the other version of WP). In the control condition, participants started with the “Diary” version of WP while in the experimental condition, participants started with the “Diary+Game” version of WP. A total of 54 adults (egos) ages 44-88, and their family and friends (alters) ages 17-69 participated in the study in ego-network groups. Both egos and their alters completed online surveys about their exercise habits. In addition, egos completed anthropometric measurements of BMI, fat percentage, and fat mass by bioimpedance.
From October 2009 to May 2010, flyers, emails, and Web advertisements yielded 335 volunteers who were screened. Rolling recruitment resulted in enrollment of 142 qualified participants in 54 ego-network groups, which were randomly assigned to a study condition. The final analytic sample included 87 individuals from 41 groups. Data were collected from December 2009 to August 2010, and data analysis was completed in 2011. Overall, the participants were given access to the intervention for 10-13 weeks. Statistical analysis suggested an increase in self-reported exercise frequency (mean days per week) from baseline (2.57, SD 1.92) to first FU (3.21, SD 1.74) in both conditions. Stronger effects were seen in the condition where Diary+Game was played first, especially in network groups with larger age variation between the alters and egos. Overall, the decrease in egos’ BMI was statistically significant from baseline to first FU, with greater decrease for those in the Diary+Game first condition (-0.26 vs -0.16 in the Diary first condition).
The Wellness Partners program increased physical activity among participants and resulted in health benefits among the egos. Web-based diary interventions designed with social gaming features hold potential to promote active lifestyles for middle-age adults and people in their social networks.
PMCID: PMC3628151  PMID: 23611986
physical activity; social networking; diary; game; Web-based intervention; behavior change intervention

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