The impact of a virtual reality training programme on health professionals’ knowledge, understanding and empathy. RCN International Nursing Research Conference and Exhibition 2019. Book of Abstracts

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Abstract

The impact of a virtual reality training programme on health professionals’ knowledge, understanding and empathy. Presenter: Florence Sharkey RN & RNT (UK) RN & RNT (ROI) DipHE BSc (Hons) MSc PGCE, Cert Nurse Prescribing, FHEA, Western Health & Social Care Trust, Ireland Co-author: Dr Kevin Moore, UK Abstract Background: Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependency among older people worldwide. Virtual Reality programmes offer a new and innovative sensory distortion programme designed to provide participants with a greater understanding of people living with dementia. To date, limited research has been undertaken on the impact of such programmes.Aim:To investigate the impact of the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) programme on understanding of the thoughts, emotion and behaviour of people with dementia. Methods: A quasi-experimental one sample quantitative repeated measures research design using a psychometrically acceptable instrument was used to measure changes in the knowledge, understanding and empathy levels. A convenience sample of health care professionals (n=233) who participated in the virtual reality training programme in February - March 2019 completed pre and post experience questionnaires. The programme, using virtual reality technologies, allowed participants to appreciate the symptoms of moderate dementia. Full ethical approval was gained.Results:The findings demonstrated a positive and statistically significant impact on participant’s knowledge and understanding of empathy. Participants also reported that the training allowed them to ‘walk in the shoes’ of the person with dementia. Significant increases were noted across empathetic understanding of cognitive/emotive impact of dementia; the behaviours of people with dementia and the provision of person-centred practice for people with dementia. These changes were noted across all health professionals and informal carers. All (100%) of participants recommended the programme as an effective training tool. Discussion: Participants reported that the VDT training had a significant impact on their understanding of the impact of dementia, helping participants to bring their theoretical understanding of dementia ‘to life’. Conclusion: The virtual reality experience is an effective, well received training programme providing a unique opportunity to experience dementia. It has a significant impact in understanding and insight into the world of dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoyal College of Nursing
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Research Conference
Place of PublicationLondon UK
PublisherRoyal College of Nursing
ChapterSession no: 5.5.3 Abstract no: 0141
Pages55
Number of pages146
Volume007 699 August 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019
EventInternational Royal College of Nursing Research Conference - Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20195 Sep 2019
https://www.rcn.org.uk/professional-development/research-and-innovation/research-events/rcn-2019-research-conference

Conference

ConferenceInternational Royal College of Nursing Research Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CitySheffield
Period3/09/195/09/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Empathy
  • Virtual Reality Dementia
  • Dementia
  • Caring

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