BACKGROUND: Adequate delirium recognition and management are important to reduce the incidence and severity of delirium. To improve delirium recognition and management, training of medical staff and students is needed.
OBJECTIVE: In this study, we aimed to gain insight into whether the serious game, Delirium Experience, is suited as an educational intervention.
METHODS: We conducted a three-arm randomized controlled trial. We enrolled 156 students in the third year of their Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree at the University Medical Centre Groningen. The Game group of this study played Delirium Experience. The Control D group watched a video with explanations on delirium and a patient's experience of delirious episodes. The Control A group watched a video on healthy aging. To investigate students' skills, we used a video of a delirious patient for which students had to give care recommendations and complete the Delirium Observations Screening Scale and Delirium Rating Scale R-98. Furthermore, students completed the Delirium Attitude Scale, the Learning Motivation and Engagement Questionnaire, and self-reported knowledge on delirium.
RESULTS: In total, 156 students participated in this study (Game group, n=51; Control D group, n=51; Control A group, n=55). The Game group scored higher with a median (interquartile range) of 6 (4-8) for given recommendations and learning motivation and engagement compared with the Control D (1, 1-4) and A (0, 0-3) groups (P<.001). Furthermore, the Game group scored higher (7, 6-8) on self-reported knowledge compared with the Control A group (6, 5-6; P<.001). We did not find differences between the groups regarding delirium screening (P=.07) and rating (P=.45) skills or attitude toward delirious patients (P=.55).
CONCLUSIONS: The serious game, Delirium Experience, is suitable as an educational intervention to teach delirium care to medical students and has added value in addition to a lecture.