The influence of Gamification on medical students’ diagnostic decision making and awareness of medical cost: a mixed-method study

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Med Educ. 2023 Oct 28;23(1):813. doi: 10.1186/s12909-023-04808-x.


BACKGROUND: The gamification of learning increases student enjoyment, and motivation and engagement in learning tasks. This study investigated the effects of gamification using decision-making cards (DMCs) on diagnostic decision-making and cost using case scenarios.

METHOD: Thirty medical students in clinical clerkship participated and were randomly assigned to 14 small groups of 2-3 medical students each. Decision-making was gamified using DMCs with a clinical information heading and medical cost on the front, and clinical information details on the back. First, each team was provided with brief clinical information on case scenarios. Subsequently, DMCs depending on the case were distributed to each team, and team members chose cards one at a time until they reached a diagnosis of the case. The total medical cost was then scored based on the number and contents of cards drawn. Four case scenarios were conducted. The quantitative outcomes including confidence in effective clinical decision-making, motivation to learn diagnostic decision-making, and awareness of medical costs were measured before and after our gamification by self-evaluation using a 7-point Likert scale. The qualitative component consisted of a content analysis on the benefits of learning clinical reasoning using DMCs.

RESULT: Confidence in effective clinical decision-making, motivation to learn diagnostic decision-making, and awareness of medical cost were significantly higher after the gamification. Furthermore, comparing the clinical case scenario tackled last with the one tackled first, the average medical cost of all cards drawn by students decreased significantly from 11,921 to 8,895 Japanese yen. In the content analysis, seven advantage categories of DMCs corresponding to clinical reasoning components were extracted (information gathering, hypothesis generation, problem representation, differential diagnosis, leading or working diagnosis, diagnostic justification, and management and treatment).

CONCLUSION: Teaching medical students clinical reasoning using DMCs can improve clinical decision-making confidence and learning motivation, and reduces medical cost in clinical case scenarios. In addition, it can help students to acquire practical knowledge, deepens their understanding of clinical reasoning, and identifies several important clinical reasoning skills including diagnostic decision-making and awareness of medical costs. Gamification using DMCs can be an effective teaching method for improving medical students' diagnostic decision-making and reducing costs.

PMID:37898743 | PMC:PMC10613361 | DOI:10.1186/s12909-023-04808-x

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