Assessing the efficacy and utility of the "what's my method" game in a high-risk, low-resource population

By Elena Bertozzi, professor of game design and development, chair of visual and performing arts and director of games design & development October 06, 2023

Elena Bertozzi smiles for a headshot wearing a green blazer.

"I am grateful for the award from the M&T Center for Women and Business because it will help support my research in using interactive digital technology to effectively educate and engage women in making decisions that will improve their health and well-being. Serious games are a validated means of transmitting information about sensitive topics such as reproductive health in way that reduces shame, supports learning through a range of formats and literacies, and enables ongoing assessment of impact and efficacy."

The funding will help support me and my team in evaluating the outcome of planned pilots to assess the efficacy of the What’s My Method game as a tool to help women pick the best form of birth control for their physiology and lifestyle. We are designing the game to be accessible in multiple languages and to be customizable by the healthcare provider so that it can be targeted to the needs of different audiences. We will be conducting deployments of the tablet-based digital game with the Barbados Family Planning Association in the West Indies, and at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx.

Our study aims to determine if playing the game is more effective than the current standard of care at improving patient well-being and education about family planning, reducing subsequent unplanned pregnancies, improving communication with healthcare providers and optimizing provider/patient interactions. The result of our efforts will be a paper that we will submit to journals focused on Games for Health, Digital Health and Learning Games.

We also plan to present our findings at conferences. Our team includes current students and alumni of the Quinnipiac University Game Design & Development program and provides opportunities for experiential learning that allow them to see the impact of their work in a broader context.

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