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Location, location: Does the use of virtual reality 360◦ images of local hospice upon referral improve patients’ perception?

Muckian, Eileen, Taubert, Mark and Harvey, Mark 2019. Location, location: Does the use of virtual reality 360◦ images of local hospice upon referral improve patients’ perception? Presented at: 19th Annual All Wales Palliative Care Conference, Gregynog, Wales, 17 -18 October 2019.

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Background: Many patients referred to a hospice may feel anticipatory fear of this unknown environment. Virtual Reality (VR) is a system that allows users to feel present and become immersed in a realistic computer-generated environment and is used for instance by estate agents for house viewings. Velindre Cancer Centre (VCC) in Cardiff uses VR-headsets and 360◦ photo/video technology on tablet computers to give patients a ‘digital tour’ of local hospices. Aims: To evaluate whether the use of 360◦ photo tours of local hospices is acceptable to patients/proxy and implementable within a clinical environment. Method: 360◦ filming/photography was undertaken in two local hospices and uploaded to VR headsets and media pads. An online survey was created to assess patients’/relatives’ experience of 360◦ VR hospice. Patients on the VCC ward known to the Palliative Care team, and/or those who had a hospice referral in place, were offered the digital tour and were included in this survey. Staff who used the technology were asked whether it was easy to use. Results: Of 25 patients/relatives, 90% felt the 360◦ tour improved their readiness for hospice transfer. Also, 95% of patients/relatives stated they would recommend it to other patients being referred to hospices. All patients/proxy found it acceptable. Staff felt the 360◦ tour was easily integrated into their work, and preferred using tablet computers over VR headsets, with the latter being more cumbersome to set up. Conclusion: The technological use of 360◦ hospice photographic views as an introduction can make a difference to patients/proxy and addresses the fear of an unknown environment. Integration of this innovative technology into the clinical environment is feasible and appears acceptable to patients.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2020 14:45

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