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Using virtual worlds for role play simulation in child and adolescent psychiatry: an evaluation study

  • Aaron K. Vallance (a1), Ashish Hemani (a1), Victoria Fernandez (a2), Daniel Livingstone (a3), Kerri McCusker (a4) and Maria Toro-Troconis (a1)...
Abstract
Aims and method

To develop and evaluate a novel teaching session on clinical assessment using role play simulation. Teaching and research sessions occurred sequentially in computer laboratories. Ten medical students were divided into two online small-group teaching sessions. Students role-played as clinician avatars and the teacher played a suicidal adolescent avatar. Questionnaire and focus-group methodology evaluated participants' attitudes to the learning experience. Quantitative data were analysed using SPSS, qualitative data through nominal-group and thematic analyses.

Results

Participants reported improvements in psychiatric skills/knowledge, expressing less anxiety and more enjoyment than role-playing face to face. Data demonstrated a positive relationship between simulator fidelity and perceived utility. Some participants expressed concern about added value over other learning methods and non-verbal communication.

Clinical implications

The study shows that virtual worlds can successfully host role play simulation, valued by students as a useful learning method. The potential for distance learning would allow delivery irrespective of geographical distance and boundaries.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Aaron K. Vallance (a.vallance@imperial.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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© 2014 The Royal College of Psychiatrists. This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Using virtual worlds for role play simulation in child and adolescent psychiatry: an evaluation study

  • Aaron K. Vallance (a1), Ashish Hemani (a1), Victoria Fernandez (a2), Daniel Livingstone (a3), Kerri McCusker (a4) and Maria Toro-Troconis (a1)...
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