A way of helping the mentally impaired to give informed medical consent
Informed consent and virtual worlds
Jun 25th 2009 – From The Economist print edition
THAT people undergoing medical procedures should give their informed consent might seem simple and uncontentious. But what if a patient has a mental impairment and his doctor does not have time to ensure he understands the proposed treatment? Those who try to look after the interests of such people say that, in practice, hard-pressed hospital staff often ask leading questions and the “consent” obtained is thus far from informed.
A team of researchers led by Suzanne Conboy-Hill, a psychologist at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, England, reckon virtual environments could provide the solution. They are designing a virtual model of the hospital and, in October, it will receive its first “patients”—a group of 20 volunteers with learning disabilities who will visit it in order to find out what’s what and, in particular, to be talked through the sort of treatment they might be offered if they really were patients.
The hospital is being built in Second Life, an online world in which people participate in the form of virtual representatives known as avatars. In the case of those in the study, their digital alter egos will begin their journeys at a simulation of the Grace Eyre Foundation centre for adults with learning disabilities in Brighton, which they attend in real life. Local landmarks such as the town’s famous seaside pier will be used to help familiarise them with their surroundings before they arrive at a virtual version of the Royal Sussex.
If these interviews suggest the participants understood what was going on well enough to give informed consent, then the researchers plan to carry out a larger study, comparing their simulation directly with the standard method of obtaining consent face to face. If it proves better, who knows, it might not only be the mentally impaired who find that virtual doctors are better at explaining things than real ones.
10 dicembre 2008
11 giugno 2009
The Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London has developed a region in Second Life that aims to design game-based learning activities for delivery of virtual patients. This video shows the Heads-Up Display (HUD) created to support the game-based learning activities. For more information about this project, please visit: http://www.elearningimperial.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
25 novembre 2008
Medicine education through virtual worlds: IRC Italian Resuscitation Council Intralipid Lesson: story of a success.