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The use of Virtual Reality in patient education : the case of chronic kidney patients

Praet, Y.A.J van (2018) The use of Virtual Reality in patient education : the case of chronic kidney patients.

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Abstract:Abstract Introduction: The innovating techniques of Virtual Reality (VR) have increased the use of VR in various settings. This rapid evolution of VR has allowed novel and creative solutions across clinical medicine in recent years. VR application is used in distraction therapy, clinical skills training, physical therapy and physical rehabilitation. As far as we know, there are no studies about VR in patient education. It seems that 40-80% of the medical information provided by healthcare practitioners is forgotten immediately by patients. VR may contribute to better store and recall medical information. To evaluate VR in patient education, chronic kidney patients were informed through VR about the treatment peritoneal dialysis. Method: A qualitative study was executed among 23 pre-dialysis patients, and with 6 patients who already had some experiences with peritoneal dialysis. The 23 pre-dialysis patients were divided in two subcategories. The first category, ‘recent pre-dialysis’, was defined here as; patients who started the pre-dialysis phase in the past year. The second category, ‘long-term pre-dialysis’, was defined here as; patients who have been in the pre-dialysis phase for more than 1 year. Patients were exposed to the VR-intervention and afterwards asked about their experiences with virtual reality, the information and the VR-intervention in general. This information was collected by using a semi-structured interview scheme. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed. Results: The results showed that the majority positively appreciated the VR-intervention. The VR-intervention was graded with an average of 8.1 (on a scale of 0-10). In general, the information in the VR-intervention was appreciated positively. However, after the VR-intervention the patients had some questions and mentioned that they would have liked more information about automatic peritoneal dialysis. The VR-intervention was experienced as a life-like situation. Interestingly, the patients mentioned not being distracted and were more focused on the information in the VR-intervention. As opposed to the positive findings, one-third of the patients mentioned that VR had no added value to inform them about peritoneal dialysis and that the VR-glasses were uncomfortable. The VR-intervention had impact on the patients’ worries, insecurities and fears, but as well on their knowledge, reassurance and confidence. A few patients mentioned that the VR-intervention was confronting. The recent pre-dialysis patients were less positive about the VR experience, and the intervention had more impact on their worries, insecurities and fears, compared to the long-term pre-dialysis patients. Furthermore there were no noticeable differences between the recent- and long-term pre-dialysis patients. Conclusion: VR in patient education seems not a one-size fits all method. Two-third of the patients highly appreciated the use of VR, while one-third of the patients seems to indicate that VR is of no added value to them. Nevertheless, it seems that VR in patient education is a valuable contribution to better restore and recall medical information. Further research is needed to investigate.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76995
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