We are very excited to announce that our paper, in collaboration with St Andrew’s Healthcare, has been accepted for publication/presentation in ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2019). This is one of the few studies investigating the use of VR among people with Dementia in a psychiatric hospital.
Title: Bring the Outside In: Providing Accessible Experiences Through VR for People with Dementia in Locked Psychiatric Hospitals
Abstract: Many people with dementia (PWD) residing in long-term care may face barriers in accessing experiences beyond their physical premises; this may be due to location, mobility constraints, legal mental health act restrictions, or offence-related restrictions. In recent years, there have been research interests towards designing non-pharmacological interventions aiming to improve the Quality of Life (QoL) for PWD within long-term care. We explored the use of Virtual Reality (VR) as a tool to provide 360°-video based experiences for individuals with moderate to severe dementia residing in a locked psychiatric hospital. We discuss at depth the appeal of using VR for PWD, and the observed impact of such interaction. We also present the design opportunities, pitfalls, and recommendations for future deployment in healthcare services. This paper demonstrates the potential of VR as a virtual alternative to experiences that may be difficult to reach for PWD residing within locked setting.
This is a research area we have been working on for the past few years, and we are very glad to know that hospitals are now keen to adopt VR in their clinical practice. More information to follow regarding the development of this work.,