To create a simulated patient with psychosis for psychiatric training within the online virtual environment of Second Life. After design and delivery of the scenario, medical students were asked to complete it and provide feedback.
A total of 24 students tried the scenario and gave feedback via an online survey. The project had been offered to 150 students so the take up was low. The feedback was predominantly negative with 53 critical responses to 32 positive ones. The consensus was that the scenario was cumbersome, did not imitate real life and was of little educational value. Multimedia representations of psychotic symptoms were more positively received and there may be scope for further development.
Interactive technology has a role in psychiatric education but we would not recommend the use of scenarios that rely predominantly on verbal communication within Second Life.
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