Kaizen: Interactive Gaming for Diabetes Patient Education

Academic Article


  • Objective: An estimated 100 million Americans have diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, a high risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, or prediabetes. Many complications can arise if diabetes is poorly managed. Hence, the need for adequate knowledge, skills, and ability to care for oneself, known as diabetes self-care management, is needed to reduce complication rates. We used an interactive platform that incorporates principles of gamification to enhance user engagement to enhance diabetes knowledge. The purpose of this descriptive pilot study was to discover what adult patients with diabetes thought about this novel educational approach to diabetes education. Materials and Methods: We collected focus group data from participants at a diabetes clinic after they played an interactive diabetes trivia game, on our software platform (Kaizen Education). Transcripts were coded and common themes were identified. Results: We conducted 9 focus groups that included 33 adult (age >18) participants who had diabetes. An overarching theme of play/gaming as a form of learning was apparent, and after analyzing the coding several themes emerged, including preferences and desired environments (clinic and home) for learning, desired players (including family, significant others), and a good balance of question difficulty. Conclusions: Participants were overwhelmingly positive about gamified education and felt empowered to lead discussions with their health care providers about diabetes self-care education, in a sense "flipping" the traditional clinic patient education paradigm. These results suggested that a flipped clinic approach could be beneficial, empowering, and engaging for patients.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Talley MH; Ogle N; Wingo N; Roche C; Willig J
  • Start Page

  • 423
  • End Page

  • 431
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 6