Improving Dental Experiences by Using Virtual Reality
Author: Karin Tanja-Dijkstra1, Sabine Pahl , Mathew P. White, Jackie Andrade, Cheng Qian, Malcolm Bruce, Jon May, David R. Moles
Published By: School of Psychology Plymouth University
Dental anxiety creates significant problems for both patients and the dental profession. Some distraction interventions are
already used by healthcare professionals to help patients cope with unpleasant procedures. The present study is novel
because it a) builds on evidence that natural scenery is beneficial for patients, and b) uses a Virtual Reality (VR)
representation of nature to distract participants. Extending previous work that has investigated pain and anxiety during
treatment, c) we also consider the longer term effects in terms of more positive memories of the treatment, building on a
cognitive theory of memory (Elaborated Intrusions). Participants (n = 69) took part in a simulated dental experience and
were randomly assigned to one of three VR conditions (active vs. passive vs. control). In addition, participants were
distinguished into high and low dentally anxious according to a median split resulting in a 362 between-subjects design. VR
distraction in a simulated dental context affected memories a week later. The VR distraction had effects not only on
concurrent experiences, such as perceived control, but longitudinally upon the vividness of memories after the dental
experience had ended. Participants with higher dental anxiety (for whom the dental procedures were presumably more
aversive) showed a greater reduction in memory vividness than lower dental-anxiety participants. This study thus suggests
that VR distractions can be considered as a relevant intervention for cycles of care in which people’s previous experiences
affect their behaviour for future events.
Category: Case Studies Research Virtual Environments
Added by Ash-Lee Hall · 6 years ago
Case Study - Medication Management
Published On: 8 September 2015
Contributed by Jeannine Harrington - Expert Reference Group Member
The importance of implementing a testing procedure before introducing smart assistive technology into a consumers home was highlighted by the experience of a case manager introducing an automated medication dispenser for use by consumer in early stages of dementia.
Family members had been very proactive in researching a tool to assist with medication management for their mother. The case manager contacted the distributor and a dispenser was dispatched. However, finding a Pharmacist familiar with the technology was a bit of a challenge. The first approach to a pharmacist who had assured the case manager they knew how to load the dispenser resulted in a broken lock and the timing wrong resulting in all compartments opening at once.
By trailing in the office before placing in the home the malfunction was identified and an opportunity to remedy reducing the risk to the consumer.
Category: Case Studies Medication Management
Added by Elizabeth Dodd · 6 years ago