Delivering therapy through an online virtual world

Project description

EVA Park is an online virtual world co-designed with people with aphasia and Professor Jane Marshall and her team at City University London. Individuals with aphasia meet their speech pathologist in various locations in EVA Park to practice communication. There is a café, restaurant, hair salon, long boat and even a Tardis. This study will investigate whether it is possible to deliver a specific type of speech therapy via EVA Park to people living with aphasia. Participants will work with a speech pathologist to practice telling a funny or interesting story – an activity that is typically challenging for those with aphasia.

Funding body

La Trobe University – Building Healthy Communities Research Focus Area.

Aims

This study will explore the potential of delivering storytelling therapy via the online platform of EVA Park.

Design and method

Participants will receive four hours of storytelling therapy for five weeks, totalling 20 hours of therapy. Quantitative pre-post measures will investigate impacts on communication, mood, and wellbeing.

Benefits

Given the number of people living in Australia’s rural and remote locations, EVA Park is particularly relevant for evaluating virtual reality as a method of delivering therapy. This is a high intensity intervention which can be delivered to participants in the comfort of their own home, thereby reducing the cost of travelling to clinic appointments as well as carer burden.

Project members

Associate Professor Miranda Rose (La Trobe University), Dr Marcella Carragher (La Trobe University), Richard Talbot (City University London), Niamh Devane (City University London), Professor Jane Marshall (City University London)

Status:

Current

Date commenced

2016

Expected date of completion

June 2017