Teaching geriatric medicine through gamification: a tool for enhancing postgraduate education in geriatric medicine

Aging Clin Exp Res. 2021 Jul 18. doi: 10.1007/s40520-021-01933-9. Online ahead of print.


Background: Polypharmacy is becoming increasingly common and all doctors must be prepared to manage it competently.

Aims: The aim of this project is to evaluate the feasibility and use of a novel gamification-based teaching intervention on polypharmacy among doctors undergoing advanced geriatric training. Among others, one of the learning goals for the students was to be able to describe the adherence to medication.

Methods: Electronic questionnaire sent to students of the third session "evidence-based medicine in geriatrics" of advanced postgraduate course in geriatrics of the European Academy for Medicine of Ageing.

Results: Most students reported issues with forgetting doses and remembering sufficiently to establish a medication routine due to busy schedules as well as social influences around medication taking. Reflecting on the challenges of the game, most students reported that their own prescribing practice was likely to change.

Discussion and conclusion: The current model of learning appears to be a feasible approach for postgraduate medical education or in other areas of healthcare such as nursing or physiotherapy. Learning through action and reflection promotes deeper thinking and can lead to behavioral change, in this case thus enhancing the attitudes and understanding regarding pharmacological issues associated with ageing. Recommendations for future research in medical education about medication adherence are outlined.

Keywords: Education; Gamification; M&M game; Medical; Polypharmacy; Training.