Virtual reality (VR) technologies have increasingly been considered as valuable tools in dementia-related research, assessment, and care. More recently it has been suggested that VR could serve as a non-pharmacological therapy to improve the quality of life (QoL) and wellbeing for people with dementia (PwD).
While the use of VR as an assessment tool (e.g., for measuring recall) or as a means to impact clinical outcomes (e.g., ability to conduct iADLs), can be evaluated with existing validated instruments that quantitatively measure corresponding outcomes (e.g. Lawton–Brody Scale), estimating the VR impact on the more subjective outcomes (like wellbeing, level of enjoyment, engagement), remain difficult to quantify for several reasons. VR evaluation also presents unique challenges when compared to other non-pharmacological interventions as the HMD covers part of the face and, most importantly, the eyes of the person experiencing VR.
The objective of this project was to design and prototype an holistic observational instrument for researchers to measure the reactions of PwDs during VR-therapy sessions.
For more information, enlarge our poster, presented at Clinical Trials in Alzheimer’s Disease or listen to our presentation.