Support Care Cancer. 2023 Sep 15;31(10):576. doi: 10.1007/s00520-023-08037-2.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of a virtual simulation game (VSG) to improve primary care sexual health services for breast cancer survivors.
METHODS: We developed a VSG to help primary care providers (PCPs) address sexual health disturbances among breast cancer survivors. We used a pretest-posttest design with a series of validated tools to assess the feasibility and perceived impact of the VGS, including an open-ended question about participants’ perceptions. Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics and qualitative data through an inductive content analysis approach.
RESULTS: Of the 60 participants, the majority were nurse practitioner students (n = 26; 43.3%), female (n = 48; 80%), and worked full-time (n = 35; 58.3%). Participants perceived the VSG as feasible and potentially effective. The intervention elicited an improvement in PCPs’ perception of knowledge between pretest and posttest surveys (z = – 1.998, p = 0.046). Professional background and previous exposure to sexual health training were predictors of knowledge perception. Participants described the intervention as an engaging educational strategy where they felt safe to make mistakes and learn from that.
CONCLUSIONS: VSGs can be a potentially effective educational approach for PCPs. Our findings indicate that despite being an engaging interactive strategy, VSG interventions should be tailored for each professional group.
IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: This intervention has potential to improve the knowledge and practice of PCPs related to breast cancer follow-up care to support comprehensive care for survivors, resulting in a better quality of life and patient outcomes.