PI: Prof Miao Chunyan
Psychosocially impaired elderly often
suffer from functional limitations which impede independent community living.
Rehabilitation is the process in which they regain the necessary skills to
re-integrate back into the community and can therefore age in place.
The specific aims of this proposal are (i)
to develop a virtual reality (VR) psychosocial rehabilitation platform, (ii) to
conduct studies to evaluate task accomplishment performances in VR and in real
world, and (iii) to gather feedback from elderly users on the acceptability and
tolerability of a VR rehabilitation module.
Broadly, this proposal consists of 3
phases. Phase 1 spells out the design features of the prototype while phase 2
describes prototype development. In phase 3, we will conduct human studies to
evaluate aims (ii) and (iii). In this phase, 2 groups of elderly participants –
psychosocially impaired individuals and healthy controls – will be recruited
and experience the VR prototype. All participants will be assessed on
functional task performance as well as performance in the VR setting.
Importance and Relevance
VR rehabilitation platform has several benefits. It permits an individual to
undergo evaluation and training across a wide range of scenarios without the usual
constraints of environment and manpower. It also provides the individual and
the therapist the option of tailoring the rehabilitation programme to cater to
his/her specific community needs. Ultimately, we believe that the proposed
platform will improve psychosocial rehabilitation outcomes and thus help the
elderly to age in place.