Game-Based Learning Interventions to Foster Cross-Cultural Care Training: A Scoping Review

Juan Pimentel, Alexandra Arias, David Ramírez, Adriana Molina, Anne Marie Chomat, Anne Cockcroft, Neil Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Differences in cultural background between health providers and patients can reduce effective access to health services in multicultural settings. Health sciences educators have recently suggested that game-based learning may be effective for cross-cultural care training. This scoping review maps published knowledge on educational games intended to foster cross-cultural care training and highlights the research gaps for future research. Materials and Methods: A scoping review searched PubMed, Eric, Embase, Lilacs, PsycINFO, and Google Scholar for theoretical and empirical research, using terms relevant to cross-cultural care and game-based learning. A participatory research framework engaged senior medical students and participatory research experts in conducting and evaluating the review. Results: Forty-one documents met the inclusion criteria, all from developed countries. The most common source of publication was nursing and medicine (39%; 16/41) and used the cultural competence approach (44%; 18/41). Around one-half of the publications (51%; 21/41) were theoretical and 39% (16/41) were empirical. Empirical studies most commonly used mixed methods (44%; 7/16), followed by strictly quantitative (31%; 5/16) or qualitative (25%; 4/16) approaches. There were no randomized controlled trials and only one study engaged end-users in the design. Empirical studies most frequently assessed role-play-related games (44%; 7/16) and used game evaluation-related outcomes or learning-related outcomes. None used patient-oriented outcomes. Findings suggest that educational games are an effective and engaging educational intervention for cross-cultural care training. Conclusions: The paucity of studies on educational games and cross-cultural care training precludes a systematic review. Future empirical studies should focus on randomized counterfactual designs and patient-related outcomes. We encourage involving end-users in developing content for educational games.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-181
Number of pages18
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 9 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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