Are you a nursing educator who's looking for an interactive, engaging way to introduce your students or staff to the issue of minority health disparities? Families USA, a Washington, D.C.-based national non-partisan advocacy organization dedicated to achieving high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans, has created an innovative online tool to help you do just that—a "virtual game show" called So You Think You Know Minority Health?
Developed by Families USA's Minority Health Initiative, So You Think You Know Minority Health? is an interactive computer game—based on the popular TV quiz show Jeopardy!—that's designed to test players' knowledge of the pervasive and persistent health disparities facing people of color in America today. It can be played by anywhere from one to four people, so that students can either take the quiz on their own outside the classroom or play it as a group and compete against each other. The game simulates the audio/visual experience of being on a real TV game show, complete with theme music, avatar "contestants," audience applause and the dreaded buzzer sound that greets an incorrectly answered question.
Just like on Jeopardy!, players choose from five topic categories and try to earn points by answering questions organized in ascending order of difficulty. While the category titles on So You Think You Know Minority Health? may seem playful, the health disparities information they teach is no laughing matter:
Dude, Where's My Care? tests players' knowledge about disparities in access to health care—who has health insurance, who doesn't, and where people seek care.
Debate and Legislate asks questions about what the government is currently doing to combat health disparities, including minority health legislation and coverage provided by public health insurance programs.
Trick or Treat? focuses on differences in treatment and the quality of health care received by different racial and ethnic groups.
Feeling Groovy—or Not deals with differences in disease rates and health outcomes between Americans of color and the white majority.
The "X" Factor contains questions about the social and environmental conditions that affect people's health, such as education, income and where they live.
The game also includes a resources page where players can find additional, more detailed information about minority health disparities, including links to important studies like the Institute of Medicine's Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care.
Families USA also offers many other resources to help increase awareness of minority health disparities, including fact sheets, e-newsletters, community outreach toolkits and national health policy training for communities of color.