Validity Evidence for a Serious Game to Assess Performance on Critical Pediatric Emergency Medicine Scenarios

James M. Gerard, Anthony J. Scalzo, Matthew A. Borgman, Christopher M. Watson, Chelsie E. Byrnes, Todd P. Chang, Marc Auerbach, David O. Kessler, Brian L. Feldman, Brian S. Payne, Sohail Nibras, Riti K. Chokshi, Joseph O. Lopreiato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction We developed a first-person serious game, PediatricSim, to teach and assess performances on seven critical pediatric scenarios (anaphylaxis, bronchiolitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, respiratory failure, seizure, septic shock, and supraventricular tachycardia). In the game, players are placed in the role of a code leader and direct patient management by selecting from various assessment and treatment options. The objective of this study was to obtain supportive validity evidence for the PediatricSim game scores. Methods Game content was developed by 11 subject matter experts and followed the American Heart Association's 2011 Pediatric Advanced Life Support Provider Manual and other authoritative references. Sixty subjects with three different levels of experience were enrolled to play the game. Before game play, subjects completed a 40-item written pretest of knowledge. Game scores were compared between subject groups using scoring rubrics developed for the scenarios. Validity evidence was established and interpreted according to Messick's framework. Results Content validity was supported by a game development process that involved expert experience, focused literature review, and pilot testing. Subjects rated the game favorably for engagement, realism, and educational value. Interrater agreement on game scoring was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.91, 95% confidence interval = 0.89-0.9). Game scores were higher for attendings followed by residents then medical students (Pc < 0.01) with large effect sizes (1.6-4.4) for each comparison. There was a very strong, positive correlation between game and written test scores (r = 0.84, P < 0.01). Conclusions These findings contribute validity evidence for PediatricSim game scores to assess knowledge of pediatric emergency medicine resuscitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-180
Number of pages13
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Pediatric Advanced Life Support
  • Serious game
  • assessment
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Validity Evidence for a Serious Game to Assess Performance on Critical Pediatric Emergency Medicine Scenarios'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this