Effectiveness of virtual reality orientation for patient first admitted into a psychiatric unit

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Effectiveness of virtual reality orientation for patient first admitted into a psychiatric unit


Author: Lau, Wai-chi
Title: Effectiveness of virtual reality orientation for patient first admitted into a psychiatric unit
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2009
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Mental health facilities -- Design and construction.
Psychiatric hospitals -- Design and construction.
Psychiatric hospital patients.
Virtual reality -- Psychological aspects.
Department: School of Nursing
Pages: xiii, 104 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2266296
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3988
Abstract: There are many misconceptions surrounding psychiatric wards, making the newly-admitted mental patients unwilling to stay in them even though treatments are urgently needed. Ward orientation, conducted by nurses, is an effective way to deal with this problem in making patients settle in a new environment. However, conducting ward orientation is time-consuming in practice. In addition, different contents and style of explanation given by different nurses can cause unnecessary fear and stress in new patients. The aim of this study is to examine the practicality and cost-effectiveness of a Virtual Reality (VR) based orientation program, for the newly-admitted psychiatric ward patients. The effectiveness of the proposed orientation approach was investigated by using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) study, with consecutive sampling method. A total of 54 participants were randomly assigned to either undergo the VR-based orientation program or to read factual material about the ward shown on a computer screen. The participants were asked to answer a version of the six-item State Trait Anxiety Inventory Scale (C-STAI) in Chinese, before and after the intervention. They were also asked to answer questions evaluating ward orientation program at the end of the session. In addition, Heart Rate Variability (HRV) was recorded before and after the program to provide an objective measure of the anxiety level. The findings suggest that anxiety was significantly reduced in the participants of VR-based orientation, as evident from the HRV measurements and the C-STAI result. Moreover, all participants in VR-based orientation group commented that the program was user-friendly, and they showed a higher level of understanding about the ward condition, regulations and environment.

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