Game-Based Intervention For Addiction Shows Promise, According To New Study

A new study published in JMIR Serious Games shows that game-based intervention can be useful as an adjunct treatment for those in recovery, particularly from alcohol use.

[Chapel Hill, NC – April 16, 2018] – In a recent study published in JMIR Medical Education, Health Impact Studio conducted a thorough literature review and surveyed medical students and faculty, which all helped to identify obesity medicine topics and skills that are currently lacking in medical education curricula. Medical students helped identify competency gaps in their ability to provide interventions for patients in various categories of overweight/obesity, patients with psychosocial issues, obesity-related comorbidities, or failed weight-loss attempts. Faculty helped identify the following topics as most important to supplement in the obesity curriculum: patient-centered treatment of weight, bringing up the topic of weight, discussing weight and well-being, discussing the relationship between weight and comorbidities, and physician role with overweight or obese patients.

The objective of this study was to determine perceptions of where clinical training for medical students on the topic of obesity and its treatment should improve and expand so that we could address the needs identified in a computerized clinical simulation. Health Impact Studio has an early prototype completed called Clinical Encounters: Obesity. The game utilizes interactive, game-based educational techniques that help medical students identify steps in a patient encounter, use effective communication techniques, and test their clinical skills throughout the patient encounter. Clinical Encounters: Obesity is currently available online or as an app on the Google Play store.

Read more about our research strategy and additional topics and skills that were identified in the JMIR article. This project was funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH grant R44DK108608).

Health Impact Studio utilizes gaming technology to create healthy lifestyle change. We are a diverse group with expertise in medicine, psychology, public health, basic sciences, programming, project and program management, gaming, information technology, and communications. Our team creates games for healthcare professionals, medical students, and the general public on topics like obesity, addiction, and nutrition. Development is informed by both medical research and gaming trends.