Evaluating the impact of the Virtual Reality app ‘A Walk Through Dementia’ on student nurses’ practice who are caring for those living with dementia.

Authors: Board, M., phipps, L., mitchell, R. and Murphy, J.

Start date: 4 July 2018

Globally there are widespread concerns around the quality of care given to people with dementia 1; this has partly been attributed to a lack of understanding by health and social care staff about dementia2,3. Staff also feel anxious and want to know more about dementia to influence the care they provide. In collaboration with Alzheimer’s Research UK we have evaluated the effectiveness of their newly created Virtual Reality app ‘A Walk Through Dementia’ (AWTD). The app aims to help people think beyond memory loss and gain a fully immersive insight into the varied symptoms people with dementia can experience in everyday life. This presentation will report how the app was tested and evaluated with 250 undergraduate student nurses during a dementia themed study day in their first semester. A small group of students were then invited to attend a focus group after they have started their first clinical placement to discuss how viewing the app influenced their care of a person with dementia. The findings of this research will inform the development of a training pack that can be used with the AWTD app and will be freely available There is a plethora of training and education available for health and social care staff to increase their understanding of dementia. We will present how effective this low cost simulated learning app is at helping health care and social care staff understand the lived experience of dementia and how knowing this has influenced their practice. 1. WHO/Alzheimer’s Disease International, 2012. Dementia: A Public Health Priority. WHO, London 2. Young, J et al (2011). Report of the National Audit of Dementia Care in General Hospitals. Health Quality Improvement Partnership. London.

3. Griffiths et al(2014). Preparation to care for confused older patients in general hospitals: a study of UK health professionals. Age Ageing, 43, 521–527.

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