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Table 2 Examples of recent RCTs using board games

From: Special series on “effects of board games on health education and promotion” board games as a promising tool for health promotion: a review of recent literature

Authors (years) Countries Subjects Board games Control setting Outcomes or variables Impact
Nederkoorn C et al. (2018) [34] The Netherlands 66 children aged 3–10 years Age-appropriate memory-related board game Play with large bowl filled with colorless, odorless jelly (Jelly group) Acceptance of a food with a specific texture Jelly group ate significantly more jelly dessert
Fancourt D et al. (2016) [35] UK 352 subjects aged > 16 years without surgical training Board game requiring removal of 3 organs from Cavity Sam (experimental tool) Operating theater sound, classical music, or rock as background music Surgical speed, accuracy, and perceived distraction Rock music impaired men’s performance of complex surgical procedures in board game
Karbownik MS et al. (2016) [36] Poland 124 medical students AntimicroGAME to learn bacteriology, antimicrobial drug actions Lecture-based seminar Short-term knowledge retention about pharmacology of antimicrobial drugs Long-term knowledge retention greater in board game participants vs. controls
Sharps M & Robinson E (2016) [37] UK 143 children aged 6–11 years Board game with descriptive social norm–based or health message Board game with animal images Children’s fruit and vegetable intake Health and social norm–based messages increased fruit and vegetable intake vs. controls
Viggiano A et al. (2015) [38] Italy 3110 subjects aged 9–19 years Kaledo board game to promote nutrition education, improve dietary behavior No board game during study period Adolescent food habits and body mass index Treatment group showed improved nutrition knowledge, healthy diet, food habits, physical activity
Fernandes SC et al. (2014) [39] Sweden 125 children aged 8–12 years Educational board game, video, or booklet with surgery and hospitalization information Entertaining tools with same formats (comparison group), no tool (control group) Children’s preoperative worries and parental anxiety Educational group less worried about surgery, hospital procedures vs. other two groups
Laski EV & Siegler RS (2014) [40] USA 42 kindergartners, mean age 5.8 years Numerical board game, counting on from current number on board Same game, standard count-from-1 procedure Children’s knowledge of numbers in the 0–100 range Number line estimates, numeral identification, count-on skill improved more in count-on group
Charlier N & De Fraine B (2013) [41] Belgium 120 students Board game to obtain first-aid knowledge Traditional lecture Students’ Knowledge of first aids Game condition was preferred, but lecture more effectively increased knowledge
Swiderska N et al. (2013) [42] UK 67 medical students Educational board game in neonatology Normally provided teaching Students’ test scores in neonatology Neonatology test scores higher in game vs. control group (p = 0.09)
Khazaal Y et al. (2013) [43] Switzerland 240 current smokers aged 18–65 years Pick-Klop game, cards with smoking-related questions, response options Psychoeducation to stop smoking, wait-list control Smoking-related attitudes and behaviors Game group less likely to remain smokers vs. wait-list group
Cho KH et al. (2012) [44] Republic of Korea 24 stroke patients Virtual reality training with balance-board game system Standard rehabilitation program only Statics balance of chronic stroke patients Significant improvement in dynamic balance in chronic stroke patients with virtual-reality balance training
Wanyama JN et al. (2012) [45] Uganda 180 HIV-positive participants Educational board game to impart health knowledge Standardized health talk Uptake of knowledge to HIV and sexually transmitted infections Educational game improved uptake of HIV, sexually transmitted infection knowledge