Get updates on our work:

Research

July, 2016: In a new study, researchers found that players of the Common Practice conversation game showed increased readiness to engage in four Advance Care Planning (ACP) behaviors. 78% of participants engaged in ACP behaviors within 3 months of playing the game and 73% showed increased readiness to perform at least one of the four behaviors.

Researchers used the Transtheoretical Model (stages of change) to conduct this study of ACP behaviors. The study measured readiness to engage in four ACP behaviors: completing a living will, completing a health-care proxy, discussing end-of-life wishes with loved ones, and discussing quality versus quantity of life with loved ones. 78% of the participants reported completing an ACP behavior within 3 months after playing the game. Of the participants, 21% had already discussed end-of-life issues with loved ones prior to playing the game. In the follow-up interviews, 60% reported having done so.

“Additionally, among the 33 participants who did not already have an Living Will, 21% created an LW within 3 months of the intervention. Similarly, of the 37 participants who did not already have a health-care proxy, 19% named a health-care proxy within 3 months of the study.”

Source: Can Playing an End-of-Life Conversation Game Motivate People to Engage in Advance Care Planning?, Lauren J. Van Scoy, MD, Michael J. Green, MD, Jean M. Reading, MA, Allison M. Scott, PhD, Cynthia H. Chuang, MD, Benjamin H. Levi, MD, PhD. American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine. July 2016, ahead of print.

March, 2016: In a new study, ​medical researchers have found that the Common Practice conversation game is an enjoyable experience for participants and a good way to frame conversations about end of life issues

“This study established that healthy volunteers enjoyed engaging in a two-hour discussion about EOL issues when framed as a game. The game experience was a positive, satisfying, and enjoyable activity for participants.”

Participants found the game fun and “appreciated hearing and considering others’ perspectives about issues raised during game play and gaining new ideas.” The majority of players described the game as “a good forum for opening discussions about difficult topics. Participants noted that the game promoted open and honest sharing of thoughts and emotions, and reinforced the value of candid ACP conversations.”

“Furthermore, this study establishes that participants are willing to engage in a two-hour conversation despite oft-perceived discomfort with this topic.”

Source: Conversation Game Effectively Engages Groups of Individuals in Discussions about Death and Dying, Van Scoy Lauren Jodi, Reading Jean M., Scott Allison M., Green Michael J., and Levi Benjamin H.. Journal of Palliative Medicine. March 2016, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/jpm.2015.0390.

May, 2015: In a study, 74% of people who played My Gift of Grace went on to perform an advance care planning activity following the game

Medical researchers released a pair of studies about My Gift of Grace at the American Thoracic Society 2015 International Conference in Denver, Colorado on May 17, 2015.

Behavior change in advance care planning

74% of players went on to take an advance care planning step following the gameThe first study, Evaluating the efficacy of an end-of-life conversation game at engaging individuals in advance care planning, applied the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change to determine whether participants advanced in their readiness to perform advance care planning or completed behaviors such as filling out advance directives and discussing their healthcare wishes with loved ones or clinicians.

In this study, researchers found that 74% of people who played My Gift of Grace went on to complete an advance care planning activity following the game, and 71% of players in the study advanced at least one stage of change for advance care planning behaviors such as completing a living will or talking with a loved one or clinician about their wishes. In all, 90% of participants advanced in stage of change and/or performed an advance care planning activity.

Participants in this study also reported the conversations they had during the game were satisfying, realistic and of high quality.

Source: Use Of The Trans-Theoretical Model Of Behavior Change To Evaluate Efficacy Of An End-of-Life Conversation Game In Engaging Individuals In Advance Care Planning: A Pilot Study
Jean M. Reading , MS, Lauren J. Van Scoy, MD, Allison M. Scott, PhD, Kristen Slinkard, BS, Michael L. Klemick, BS, Christopher M. Carrero, BS, Benjamin H. Levi , MD, PhD, Michael Green, MD

Measuring quality in conversations

The second study, Measuring the quality of end-of-life discussions using a multiple goals conceptual framework, showed the feasibility of a method for measuring quality in conversations. The Multiple Goals Analysis used in the study successfully detected variability in conversation quality.

(For more details about the Multiple Goals Theory, download our white paper.)

Download the Press Release

Source: Measuring Of The Quality Of End-of-Life Discussions Stimulated By A Conversation Game Using A Multiple Goals Conceptual Framework, Lauren J. Van Scoy , MD, Jean M. Reading , MS, Allison M. Scott , PhD, Margaret Hopkins , MA, MEd, Benjamin H. Levi , MD, PhD, Michael J. Green , MD

About the lead researcher

The study’s lead researcher, Lauren Jodi Van Scoy, M.D., a critical care doctor at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine and humanities, Penn State College of Medicine, said the results show that My Gift of Grace may be a viable healthcare intervention.

“Our study found that people who play My Gift of Grace engage in satisfying and impactful end-of-life conversations that seems to motivate them to increase their readiness to perform advance care planning.”

Dr. Van Scoy was recently awarded a Parker B. Francis Foundation grant from the American Thoracic Society to study the effects of My Gift of Grace in a larger, randomized controlled trial.