Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A serious game to train patient safety outside the classroom: a pilot study of acceptability
  1. Victoria K Field1,
  2. Tom Gale2,
  3. Cor Kalkman3,
  4. Pamela Kato4,
  5. Catherine T Ward2
  1. 1 Department of Anaesthetics, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, UK
  2. 2 Department of Anaesthetics, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
  3. 3 Department of Anaesthetics, Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Department of Computing, Electronics and Maths, Coventry University, Coventry, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Victoria K Field, Department of Anaesthesia, Torbay Hospital, Torquay TQ2 7AA, UK; v.field{at}

Statistics from


Training in patient safety is imperative for front-line healthcare staff. Simulation is recommended1 but is faculty-intensive, reaches a limited number of candidates per session and delivery remains fragmented.

’Serious games,' defined as ’a mental contest played with a computer in accordance with specific rules, that uses entertainment to further training, education, health, public policy, and strategic communication objectives’,2 may have a niche role as a training resource. Despite high development costs they are potentially cost-effective in the longer term; no faculty requirement and potential to reach many learners at minimal additional cost. The immediacy of feedback promotes achievement of learning outcomes and mitigates against knowledge decay.3 The literature reports few serious games for safety training of healthcare professionals. We performed a feasibility pilot of the serious game ‘Air Medic Sky-1’ (AMS-1) in a cohort of UK medical students. AMS-1 has previously been reviewed in comparison with an e-learning patient safety module,4 where it was found to be comparable with regard to knowledge acquisition and more engaging. We aim to determine the acceptability of training with such a game.


AMS-1 (Patient Safety Centre, University Medical centre, Utrecht, Netherlands), is a PC-based interactive serious game incorporating a biofeedback (BF) device (Wild Divine, San Diego, California, USA) that attaches to users' fingers to detect heart rate variability and skin conductance. The game comprises three domains …

View Full Text


  • Contributors CTW, TG and PK designed the study. The study has been implemented by CTW. CK analysed USB files to provide data spreadsheets. CTW and VKF analysed the results and wrote the manuscript. All authors contributed to refinement of the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by an innovation grant from the South West Deanery.

  • Competing interests PK and CK were involved in designing the serious game Air Medic Sky-1. Other authors have no competing interest to declare.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Plymouth University Medical and Dental School ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.