A Study of Professional Awareness Using Immersive Virtual Reality: The Responses of General Practitioners to Child Safeguarding Concerns

Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Forthcoming

16 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2018

See all articles by Xueni Pan

Xueni Pan

University of London - Goldsmiths College

Tara Collingwoode-Williams

University of London - Department of Computing

Angus Antley

University College London

Harry Brenton

BespokeVR Ltd

Benjamin Congdon

University College London

Olivia Drewett

University College London

Marco Gillies

University of London - Goldsmiths College

David Swapp

University College London - Department of Computer Science

Pascoe Pleasence

University College London

Caroline Fertleman

University College London - Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health; Whittington Health

Sylvie Delacroix

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School; Alan Turing Institute - Alan Turing Institute

Date Written: June 10, 2018

Abstract

The art of picking up signs that a child may be suffering from abuse at home is one of those skills that cannot easily be taught, given its dependence on a range of non-cognitive abilities. It is also difficult to study, given the number of factors that may interfere with this skill in a real-life, professional setting. An immersive virtual reality environment provides a way round these difficulties. In this study, we recruited 64 general practitioners, with different levels of experience. Would this level of experience have any impact on general practitioners’ (GPs) ability to pick up child-safeguarding concerns? Would more experienced GPs find it easier to pick up subtle (rather than obvious) signs of child-safeguarding concerns? Our main measurement was the quality of the note left by the GP at the end of the virtual consultation: we had a panel of 10 (all experienced in safeguarding) rate the note according to the extent to which they were able to identify and take the necessary steps required in relation to the child safeguarding concerns. While the level of professional experience was not shown to make any difference to a GP’s ability to pick up those concerns, the parent’s level of aggressive behavior towards the child did. We also manipulated the level of cognitive load (reflected in a complex presentation of the patient’s medical condition): while cognitive load did have some impact upon GPs in the ‘obvious cue’ condition (parent behaving particularly aggressively), this effect fell short of significance. Furthermore, our results also suggest that GPs who are less stressed, less neurotic, more agreeable and extroverted tend to be better at raising potential child abuse issues in their notes. These results not only point at the considerable potential of virtual reality as a training tool. They also highlight fruitful avenues for further research, as well as potential strategies to support GP’s in their dealing with highly sensitive, emotionally charged situations.

Keywords: Immersive Virtual Reality, Virtual Patient, Medical Training, Professional Awareness, Child Safeguarding, Expertise, Cognitive Load, Naturalistic Decision Making

Suggested Citation

Pan, Xueni and Collingwoode-Williams, Tara and Antley, Angus and Brenton, Harry and Congdon, Benjamin and Drewett, Olivia and Gillies, Marco and Swapp, David and Pleasence, Pascoe T. and Fertleman, Caroline and Delacroix, Sylvie, A Study of Professional Awareness Using Immersive Virtual Reality: The Responses of General Practitioners to Child Safeguarding Concerns (June 10, 2018). Frontiers in Robotics and AI, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3193583

Xueni Pan

University of London - Goldsmiths College ( email )

Lewisham Way
New Cross, SE14 6NW
United Kingdom

Tara Collingwoode-Williams

University of London - Department of Computing ( email )

London, England SE14 6NW
United Kingdom

Angus Antley

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Harry Brenton

BespokeVR Ltd ( email )

4th Floor, 86-90 Paul Street
London, England EC2A 4NE
United Kingdom

Benjamin Congdon

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Olivia Drewett

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Marco Gillies

University of London - Goldsmiths College ( email )

Lewisham Way
New Cross, SE14 6NW
United Kingdom

David Swapp

University College London - Department of Computer Science ( email )

Malet Place
London, England WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Pascoe T. Pleasence

University College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Caroline Fertleman

University College London - Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health ( email )

30 Guilford Street
London, England WC1N 1EH
United Kingdom

Whittington Health ( email )

The Whittington Hospital
Magdala Avenue
London, England N19 5NF
United Kingdom

Sylvie Delacroix (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School ( email )

Edgbaston
Birmingham, AL B15 2TT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/law/delacroix-sylvie.aspx

Alan Turing Institute - Alan Turing Institute ( email )

96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

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