Ingadottir, B., Blondal, K., Thue, D., Zoega, S., Thylen, I. & Jaarsma, T. (2017). Development, usability, and efficacy of a serious game to help patients learn about pain management after surgery: an evaluation study. JMIR Serious Games (online),5(2), M. Alcañiz. 1-15. Canada: JMIR Publications, Inc.. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.2196/games.6894.
Background: Postoperative pain is a persistent problem after surgery and can delay recovery and develop into chronic pain. Better patient education has been proposed to improve pain management of patients. Serious games have not been previously developed to help patients to learn how to manage their postoperative pain. Objective: The aim of this study was to describe the development of a computer-based game for surgical patients to learn about postoperative pain management and to evaluate the usability, user experience, and efficacy of the game. Methods: A computer game was developed by an interdisciplinary team following a structured approach. The usability, user experience, and efficacy of the game were evaluated using self-reported questionnaires (AttrakDiff2, Postoperative Pain Management Game Survey, Patient Knowledge About Postoperative Pain Management questionnaire), semi-structured interviews, and direct observation in one session with 20 participants recruited from the general public via Facebook (mean age 48 [SD 14]; 11 women). Adjusted Barriers Questionnaire II and 3 questions on health literacy were used to collect background information. Results: Theories of self-care and adult learning, evidence for the educational needs of patients about pain management, and principles of gamification were used to develop the computer game. Ease of use and usefulness received a median score between 2.00 (IQR 1.00) and 5.00 (IQR 2.00) (possible scores 0-5; IQR, interquartile range), and ease of use was further confirmed by observation. Participants expressed satisfaction with this novel method of learning, despite some technological challenges. The attributes of the game, measured with AttrakDiff2, received a median score above 0 in all dimensions; highest for attraction (median 1.43, IQR 0.93) followed by pragmatic quality (median 1.31, IQR 1.04), hedonic quality interaction (median 1.00, IQR 1.04), and hedonic quality stimulation (median 0.57, IQR 0.68). Knowledge of pain medication and pain management strategies improved after playing the game (P=.001). Conclusions: A computer game can be an efficient method of learning about pain management; it has the potential to improve knowledge and is appreciated by users. To assess the game’s usability and efficacy in the context of preparation for surgery, an evaluation with a larger sample, including surgical patients and older people, is required.
Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research
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