Evaluating the impact of the Virtual Reality app ‘A Walk Through Dementia’ on students learning and practice

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

Start date: 29 October 2018

There are widespread concerns around the quality of care given to people with dementia, this has partly been attributed to a lack of understanding by health and social care staff about dementia. Staff also feel anxious and want to know more about dementia to influence the care they provide. Having staff with the knowledge and skills to deliver good dementia care is a UK Government priority. There is a plethora of training and education available for health and social care staff to increase their understanding of dementia. To ensure a more standardised approach to dementia education a Dementia Core Skills Education and Training framework was developed in 2015. 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. The app has been delivered as part of a training programme to health care undergraduate students, and residential care home staff, and a training pack developed. The training pack has been mapped against the learning outcomes from the core skills framework. This presentation will present findings from the evaluation of the app and the development of the training pack. It was also outline the next stage of the project when patients will be asked to evaluate the impact of this new learning on the care they have received. We will present how effective this low cost simulated learning app can support health care and social care staff understand the lived experience of dementia and how knowing this has influenced their practice.

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