An Investigation of the Effects of a Virtual Reality Simulation on the Stigmatised Perceptions of People living with Schizophrenia in a population of Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Students
(2017) An Investigation of the Effects of a Virtual Reality Simulation on the Stigmatised Perceptions of People living with Schizophrenia in a population of Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Students, no. 114.
Stigmatised perceptions of mental illness, especially severe mental illness such as schizophrenia, are evident in society. Stigmatised perceptions are evident through police violence to people living with schizophrenia, and the portrayal of schizophrenia in the media. The media in turn has warped society's perception of schizophrenia. The presence of stigmatised perceptions towards people living with schizophrenia in society affects how this client group approaches medical services and occupational therapy services. AIM This thesis has detailed the undertaking of a pilot research project which used a cardboard virtual reality viewer and a 360° video as an anti-stigma intervention with third and fourth year undergraduate occupational therapy students at Queen Margaret University. METHOD The study uses a quantitative attribution questionnaire to measure stigmatised perceptions towards people living with schizophrenia. The participant's experience of the virtual reality workshop was also collected using a Likert scale. RESULTS The results of this study showed the virtual reality intervention was not effective in significantly reducing stigmatised perceptions in the population. The experience of the workshop was extremely positive. CONCLUSION The virtual reality intervention was not significantly effective as an anti-stigma intervention for occupational therapy students but the use of virtual reality as an educational experience in the occupational therapy student population was a popular and welcome tool for learning.