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Virtual Reality Learning environment for Schizophrenia

Authors: Mark Spiteri, ,
  • Institute: Institute of Information And Communication Technology
  • Symposium: Emerging Technology and Creative Innovation
  • Day: 2 , Session: 1 , Location: Auditorium
  • Session Type: Short 10 min (Early stage research) , Start: 10:10 , End: 10:25

Abstract

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that over 20 million people suffer from schizophrenia

world wide. Malta contributes too its fair portion with over 11, 200 diagnosed cases by the year 2017;

which accounts for over 2.3% of the currents Maltese population (Ministry for Health, 2020)

Furthermore, More than 69% of people with schizophrenia are not receiving appropriate care. In

addition, 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in low- and middle- income countries. Whilst Schizophrenia is successfully treatable, treatment with medicines and psychosocial support is effective and suggested by the WHO. However, most people with chronic schizophrenia lack access to the right treatment (WHO, 2020).

Persons suffering from a mental illness have two mains types of struggles. Not only they have to cope with their symptoms but also society disapproves/misunderstand their behavior and consequently gets them stigmatized. Such stigma leads to discrimination even though a person copes well with their mental illness (RĂ¼sch, N, 2005).

Over the past 50 years, healthcare knowledge more than doubled, improving practices and treatments. This rapid change demands innovative ways in educating and train new procedures to professionals and students. Learning technology can aid with such rapid changes such as VR (Virtual Reality). VR has long been proven to be used as an educational tool also in the mental health sector. A VR learning experience is able to pass on knowledge through a virtual 3D environment where users can experience situations and treatment procedures through: sound, video and interactive features. A VR experience immerses the user making it interesting and fun to learn (Mantovani, F,2003).

Aims:

Using innovative learning technology for the understanding of schizophrenia targeting mainly the health and ICT sector.

Create an educational tool for healthcare professionals and students to further understand schizophrenia.

Educate the general public with regards to schizophrenia to improve social inclusion.