Emerging Technologies: Exploring the health and well-being benefits of using virtual reality with adults living in long-term care communities

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virtual reality, age in place, evaluation, age-related rehabilitation, elderly


Introduction: This manuscript describes the implementation of a Virtual Reality (VR) recreation program at long-term care sites across Ontario, Canada, using the RE-AIM Framework to guide the implementation and its evaluation.

Methods: We developed a VR recreation program to enhance the lives of long-term care residents, through 3 sequential phases. In Phase 1, we learned about resident and staff needs through focus groups, staff surveys and observations. In Phase 2, we developed 10 VR experiences, based on the data from Phase 1. In Phase 3, we implemented the VR experiences and supporting manual and measured their implementation, using the RE-AIM Framework.

Results: We found the VR program to be highly (but not consistently) implementable across all sites. Factors that supported implementation were the following: resident interest in the content and technology, relative ease of use for staff to implement and formally integrating VR into the recreation calendar. Factors that impeded implementation were the following: the size of the headset, inability for the headset to cast given the sites’ Information Technology infrastructure and some content that was not engaging.

Conclusions: VR programs are highly implementable and this implementation is enhanced by integration of the program into existing recreational systems, ease of use and resident engagement.


Sheridan Research


Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering




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Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Original Publication Citation

Hayden, L., Chaze, F., Kamath, A., Azevedo, A., Bucko, D., Jackson, A., Reyna, C., Kashlan, Y., Dube, M., De Paula, J., Warren-Norton, K., Dupuis, K., & Tsotsos, L. (2022). Implementation of a Virtual Reality recreation program in long-term care. Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1177/20556683211070994


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