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Walkthrough digital virtual hospice tour: a survey study to explore practicality and acceptability for patients

Taubert, Mark, Muckian, Eileen and Harvey, Mark 2021. Walkthrough digital virtual hospice tour: a survey study to explore practicality and acceptability for patients. Presented at: 17th World Congress of the EAPC, Virtual, 5-8 Oct 2021. Abstracts from the 17th World Congress of the EAPC 2021. , vol. 1S. Palliative Medicine: SAGE Publications, 10.1177/02692163211035909

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Background: Patients referred to a hospice may feel trepidation about this unknown environment, and the word hospice can carry stigma for some. Virtual Reality (VR) applications allow users to feel present and become immersed in a realistic computer-generated environment and are used for instance by estate agents for house viewings. Our cancer hospital in Cardiff uses 360◦ photo/video technology on tablet computers to give patients a ‘digital tour’ of two regional hospices. Aims: To evaluate whether the use of these 360◦ walkthrough tours of local hospices is acceptable to patients/proxy and readily implementable within a clinical environment. Methods: 360◦ filming/photography was undertaken in two local hospices & uploaded to hospital media pads. An online survey was created to assess patient experience. Patients on the ward for whom a hospice referral was suggested by the MDT were offered this digital tour and were included in this survey. Staff were asked whether it was easy to use. Results: Of 25 patients, 90% felt the 360◦ tour improved their readiness for hospice transfer. Also, 95% of patients 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. Conclusion: The technological use of 360◦ hospice photographic views as an introduction to the hospice infrastructure can make a difference to patients and addresses the fear of an unknown environment. Integration of this innovative technology into the clinical environment is feasible and appears acceptable to patients. Creating 360◦ imagery in local hospices was not technologically difficult, but is aided by availability of staff interested in digital media. Furthermore, informal hospice visits ceased during the Covid-19 pandemic, driving up the usage of these virtual tours significantly.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0269-2163
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 2021
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 09:22

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