Use of a Virtual Reality Device for Basic Life Support Training: Prototype Testing and an Exploration of Users' Views and Experience

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IntroductionImmediate initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation significantly increases the chances of survival after a cardiac arrest. Virtual reality devices allow the integration of features of real patients into training to facilitate interaction and feedback, thus improving performance. However, its use as a training tool remains underexplored. The aims of this study were to undertake initial testing of a virtual reality basic life support prototype and to explore users' views and experiences.MethodsWe recruited 23 adult staff members working at a Central London University in England and exposed them to a 5-minute virtual reality experience. Each participant completed a prequestionnaire and postquestionnaire and took part in a focus group discussion. Quantitative data were descriptively analyzed, whereas qualitative data underwent thematic analysis.ResultsRegardless of prior experience of using virtual reality and/or performing basic life support, most participants scored more than 90% for chest compressions and reported an increase in confidence and competence after the experience. Focus group discussions identified the following 4 key themes: experience and expectations; performance and feedback; interaction and immersion; and potential.ConclusionsOur study suggests that virtual reality is an enjoyable method by which to teach basic life support. Although concerns over the accuracy of the tracking system and the small sample size weaken our conclusions regarding its ability to assess performance, our exploratory data are of value to educators, researchers, and policy makers. Future work needs to address our study limitations, consider how virtual reality fits into the broader context of training, and attend to accreditation and resource issues.

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