Using virtual worlds for role play simulation in child and adolescent psychiatry: an evaluation study
Vallance, Aaron K.
- Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
The Psychiatric Bulletin
(issn: 2053-4868, vol:
Aims and method:\ud \ud 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.\ud \ud Results:\ud \ud Participants reported improvements in psychiatric skills/knowledge, expressing less anxiety and more enjoyment than role-playing face to face. Simulator fidelity correlated positively with utility. Some participants expressed concern about added value over other learning methods and non-verbal communication. \ud \ud Clinical implications:\ud \ud 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.