First Session is a game that that supports health professionals to learn how to accurately undertake an unstructured clinical interview to elicit comprehensive information to inform best practice and to familiarise players with note taking practices. The game uses set protocols to train the player to attend to and probe key information presented by the patient. The ability to ask appropriate questions in an empathic and professional manner in order to obtain a comprehensive intake interview, take accurate notes and to form treatment and formulation hypotheses is a foundational competency for health workers.
The game has a variety of new patients with various difficulties players can choose from. The patient’s condition is based on information supplied by the DSM-V and Australian clinicians and has been developed in partnership with The University of Queensland. The game is interactive and the players’ task is to navigate the interaction with the client and identify key areas for further probing in order to take accurate notes and formulate hypotheses for further investigation and treatment. Feedback is provided to the player during the session with appropriate patient responses. The game ends when the player has navigated though the interview and is then required to build a working diagnosis and answer questions related to this which are designed to build knowledge of differential diagnoses and diagnostic criteria. Players earn tokens for correct decisions and a feedback screen shows the player how they fared in comparison to other players, what they missed and examples of best practice solutions.
The game is currently being trialled with provisional (trainee) psychologists at The University of Queensland. Initial feedback from user testing sessions demonstrates that the proof of concept shows promise and has the potential to be a valuable learning tool. Laurus plans to further develop the concept in 2016; expanding the patient modules to include an increased variety of presenting difficulties across gender, ethnicity, lifespan and practice contexts.