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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gamification of POCUS: Are Students Learning?


Introduction: While gamification of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is well received by learners, little is known about the knowledge gained from material taught during these events. We set out to determine whether a POCUS gamification event improved knowledge of interpretation and clinical integration of POCUS.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study of fourth-year medical students who participated in a 2.5-hour POCUS gamification event consisting of eight objective-oriented stations. Each station had one to three learning objectives associated with the content taught. Students completed a pre-assessment; they then participated in the gamification event in groups of three to five per station and subsequently completed a post-assessment. Differences between pre- and post-session responses were matched and analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Fisher’s exact test.

Results: We analyzed data from 265 students with matched pre- and post-event responses; 217 (82%) students reported no to little prior POCUS experience. Most students were going into internal medicine (16%) and pediatrics (11%). Knowledge assessment scores significantly improved from pre- to post-workshop, 68% vs 78% (P=0.04). Self-reported comfort with image acquisition, interpretation, and clinical integration all significantly improved from pre- to post-gamification event (P<0.001).

Conclusion: In this study we found that gamification of POCUS, with clear learning objectives, led to improved student knowledge of POCUS interpretation, clinical integration, and self-reported comfort with POCUS.

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