Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Online game helps doctors improve patients' blood pressure faster

Date:
May 20, 2014
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Patients whose doctors and nurses received high blood pressure education in a competitive online game reached their blood pressure goals sooner. The game of emailed questions used 'spaced education,' which sends new information in regular intervals and reinforces the lessons over time. Researchers found that patients of clinicians playing the game lowered their blood pressure to their target level in 142 days compared to 148 days for those who read an online posting.

BP cuff on arm.
Credit: copyright American Heart Association

An online game that teaches doctors and nurses blood pressure-lowering options resulted in their patients reaching a normal blood pressure faster than patients whose healthcare providers received the same information in a traditional online posting, according to research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

Related Articles


Researchers found that patients of clinicians playing the game lowered their blood pressure to their target level in 142 days compared to 148 days for those who read an online posting.

"The competition proved to be a powerful incentive," said B. Price Kerfoot, M.D., Ed.M., study author and associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and staff surgeon at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System.

The game used "spaced education," a technique invented by Kerfoot that Harvard is seeking to patent. Information is emailed in the form of a question, with a correct answer and explanation provided immediately after a response is submitted. The questions were emailed and adaptively reinforced for a year -- hence the term "spaced education."

"Clinicians may be familiar with the guidelines, but often that knowledge isn't translated effectively into practice," Kerfoot said. "Spaced education appears to engage learners in such a way that translates evidence-based guidelines into clinician practice patterns. Testing can help with retention."

Researchers randomly assigned clinicians in eight Veterans Affairs medical centers in New England to the game or a traditional online posting with email reminders. Forty-eight clinicians completed the game and 47 read the online posting.

Those in the game competed against other participants and could see their progress as they completed tasks.

"The study shows that an easy-to-use, low-cost tool can influence doctors and benefit patients," said Alexander Turchin, M.D., M.S., a co-first-author of the study and director of informatics research in the Division of Endocrinology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. "Once you've designed the emails, you can send it to 10 people or to every single doctor in the United States without increasing your costs."

For each doctor who participated in the game, 2.3 additional patients reached normal blood pressure during the study, Kerfoot said.

"If you train one clinician you can impact many patients. There is a strong amplification effect."

Clinicians can enroll in the spaced education game for free at Qstream (http://qstream.com/vabpgame), a company Harvard launched to develop and disseminate the spaced education methodology outside of its firewalls.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. Price Kerfoot et al. An Online Spaced-Education Game Among Clinicians Improves Their Patients’ Time to Blood Pressure Control: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, May 2014 DOI: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.113.000814

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Online game helps doctors improve patients' blood pressure faster." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140520133210.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2014, May 20). Online game helps doctors improve patients' blood pressure faster. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140520133210.htm
American Heart Association. "Online game helps doctors improve patients' blood pressure faster." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140520133210.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins