Texas researchers develop online game to teach patients about health insurance

An interactive online game developed by two Texas researchers was successfully able to teach patients about health insurance terms and usage, according to a pilot study published in JMIR Serious Games.

Two researchers from the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism in Denton recruited 72 participants to complete individual in-person sessions with a web-based educational game about health insurance. To design the game, the researchers integrated "entry-level" health insurance information into various interactive scenarios.

Researchers also had participants complete a survey about health insurance before and after playing the online game. Participants reported a greater understanding of how to use health insurance and provided more correct definitions for health insurance terms after playing the game.

"A game is a practical solution to a difficult health issue," the study authors concluded. "The game can be played anywhere, including on a mobile device, is interactive and will thus engage an apathetic audience, and is cost-efficient in its execution."

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