JOURNAL ARTICLE

Evaluating change in virtual reality adoption for brain injury rehabilitation following knowledge translation

Stephanie M N Glegg, Liisa Holsti, Sue Stanton, Steven Hanna, Diana Velikonja, Barbara Ansley, Denise Sartor, Christine Brum
Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology 2017, 12 (3): 217-226
28508725

PURPOSE: To evaluate the impact of knowledge translation (KT) on factors influencing virtual reality (VR) adoption and to identify support needs of therapists.

HYPOTHESES: Intervention will be associated with improvements in therapists' perceived ease of use and self-efficacy, and an associated increase in intentions to use VR.

METHOD: Single group mixed-methods pre-test-post-test evaluation of convenience sample of physical, occupational and rehabilitation therapists (n=37) from two brain injury rehabilitation centres. ADOPT-VR administered pre/post KT intervention, consisting of interactive education, clinical manual, technical and clinical support.

RESULTS: Increases in perceived ease of use (p=0.000) and self-efficacy (p=0.001), but not behavioural intention to use VR (p=0.158) were found following KT, along with decreases in the frequency of perceived barriers. Post-test changes in the frequency and nature of perceived facilitators and barriers were evident, with increased emphasis on peer influence, organisational-level supports and client factors. Additional support needs were related to clinical reasoning, treatment programme development, technology selection and troubleshooting.

CONCLUSIONS: KT strategies hold potential for targeting therapists' perceptions of low self-efficacy and ease of use of this technology. Changes in perceived barriers, facilitators and support needs at post-test demonstrated support for repeated evaluation and multi-phased training initiatives to address therapists' needs over time. Implications for Rehabilitation Therapists' learning and support needs in integrating virtual reality extend beyond technical proficiency to include clinical decision-making and application competencies spanning the entire rehabilitation process. Phased, multi-faceted strategies may be valuable in addressing therapists' changing needs as they progress from novice to experienced virtual reality users. The ADOPT-VR is a sensitive measure to re-evaluate the personal, social, environmental, technology-specific and system-level factors influencing virtual reality adoption over time.

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