Send to

Choose Destination
J Med Internet Res. 2020 Mar 9;22(3):e16987. doi: 10.2196/16987.

Precourse Preparation Using a Serious Smartphone Game on Advanced Life Support Knowledge and Skills: Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
CPR Training Unit, Srinagarind Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.



In the past several years, gamified learning has been growing in popularity in various medical educational contexts including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training. Furthermore, prior work in Basic Life Support (BLS) training has demonstrated the benefits of serious games as a method for pretraining among medical students. However, there is little evidence to support these benefits with regard to Advanced Life Support (ALS) training.


We compare the effects of a brief precourse ALS preparation using a serious smartphone game on student knowledge, skills, and perceptions in this area with those of conventional ALS training alone.


A serious game (Resus Days) was developed by a Thai physician based on global ALS clinical practice guidelines. Fifth-year medical students were enrolled and randomized to either the game group or the control group. Participants in both groups attended a traditional ALS lecture, but the game group was assigned to play Resus Days for 1 hour before attending the lecture and were allowed to play as much as they wished during the training course. All students underwent conventional ALS training, and their abilities were evaluated using multiple-choice questions and with hands-on practice on a mannequin. Subject attitudes and perceptions about the game were evaluated using a questionnaire.


A total of 105 students participated in the study and were randomly assigned to either the game group (n=52) or the control group (n=53). Students in the game group performed better on the ALS algorithm knowledge posttest than those in the control group (17.22 [SD 1.93] vs 16.60 [SD 1.97], P=.01; adjusted mean difference [AMD] 0.93; 95% CI 0.21-1.66). The game group's pass rate on the skill test was also higher but not to a statistically significant extent (79% vs 66%, P=.09; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.22; 95% CI 0.89-5.51). Students indicated high satisfaction with the game (9.02 [SD 1.11] out of 10).


Engaging in game-based preparation prior to an ALS training course resulted in better algorithm knowledge scores for medical students than attending the course alone.


Thai Clinical Trials Registry HE611533;


CPR training; gamified learning; medical education; serious game learning

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for JMIR Publications Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center