Conflict Resolution Studies Faculty Articles


Self-management intervention for amputees in a virtual world environment

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Journal of Alternative Medicine Research


Virtual world, amputees, self-management, qualitative analysis







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Amputees who feel well-educated about their prosthesis care are more likely to adhere to treatment recommendations and have improved health outcomes. Few studies have tested the efficacy of using virtual worlds as a patient intervention and dissemination environment. The objective of this project was to compare dissemination of a self-management intervention for amputees under two conditions: e-learning and virtual world (SecondLife®). During the development phase, the intervention was developed using Microsoft (MS) PowerPoint® then imported into articulate e-learning software. Prior to creating the virtual world, the intervention was beta-tested (in Articulate) for content and usability. Focus groups of clinicians and amputees were conducted and the results were analysed qualitatively. Focus group findings were implemented by editing the MS PowerPoint® and Articulate accordingly. The SL® was created using the edited MS PowerPoint®. Here we concentrate on the focus group findings; the creation of the experimental, SL® condition is in progress in preparation for the clinical trial. Focus group results identified the self-directed structure and video presentation aspects of the intervention as strengths and were less enthusiastic about use of text. Research team experiences, beta-test results, and available technology suggest the need to rethink traditional textual presentation of declarative knowledge in order to meet the needs of the modern learner and create more modern learning environments. More specifically, findings prompted this research team to develop innovative techniques to render typically textual, declarative knowledge in an interactive format.


This project is supported by Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Grant # R1R24HS022021, PI Sandra Winkler, 2013-2016.

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