Objective: Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal mortality. Surgical interventions, such as uterine artery ligation and utero-ovarian arteries ligation (UAL and UOAL), are considered as effective methods to control PPH. Owing to PPH's severe outcomes, various educational tools have been developed to train surgical residents. A potential educational medium for this purpose could be serious digital games. In this pilot study, we assessed the usability and effectiveness of a serious game to promote the surgical skills of UAL/UOAL among obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) residents. Methods: We designed and developed the Play and Learn for Surgeons (PLS) game to train OB/GYN residents. We assessed and compared the usability challenges of PLS before and after revising the game. To assess the effectiveness of PLS, residents were allocated randomly in control and intervention groups. Surgical skills of the residents were assessed pre- and post-test using the Objective Structured Assessment of Technical Skills checklist. Setting: This pilot study took place at the OB/GYN wards of Omolbanin Hospital (Mashhad University of Medical Sciences) and Imam Ali Hospital (Zahedan University of Medical Sciences) in Iran. Participants: Thirteen subject matter experts (nine OB/GYN experts and four senior clinical assistants) participated in the user interface design and usability assessment of PLS. Total of 46 OB/GYN residents participated in the educational effectiveness analysis of PLS. All participants were female with mean ages of 40.6, 29.9 and 28.0 years for OB/GYN experts, assistants, and residents, accordingly. Results: All participants completed the study. PLS significantly improved the skills of residents for UAL (P-value = 0.018) and UOAL (P-value <0.001) procedures. Conclusion: Serious games can be an effective and affordable approach in training OB/GYN residents for UAL and UOAL procedures. Approval number: (# IR.MUMS.fm.REC.1396.345) Trial registration number: (# IRCT2017092436366N1).
Keywords: Postpartum hemorrhage; Serious games; Surgical education; Usability testing; Uterine and utero-ovarian artery ligations.