Read about the Pain Dementia Virtual Reality Research Study.
With funding from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF), the Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), and the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine, the Pain, Dementia & Virtual Reality Research Team developed 9 brief virtual reality (VR) videos for older adults and people living with dementia. This multidisciplinary team, led by Dr. Susan Tupper, conducted interviews with people living with dementia and their family or friends who provide care for them. From these interviews they learned about the ways that family and friends support people living with dementia with pain management. They also learned that most people living with dementia and family caregivers are interested in using VR, as long as the video content is interesting for them. Recreation Therapists in long-term care homes and dementia care settings were identified as the best profession to support use of VR. Our research team has worked closely with the Saskatchewan Health Authority Strategy & Innovation team to establish the SHA Virtual Reality Hub, a community of practice for use of VR in healthcare settings. Our team has also developed a prototype for a VR Content Screening Tool, so that Recreation Therapists can select appropriate VR video content with their clients. This research is ongoing. We plan to test the reliability and validity of the VR Content Screening Tool and create learning materials to support Recreation Therapists to use VR in LTC and dementia care settings.