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Virtual Reality in Healthcare Skills Training: The Effects of Presence on Acceptance and Increase of Knowledge

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De Gruyter


With an ever-increasing need of skilled healthcare workers, efficient learning methods like Virtual Reality (VR) are becoming increasingly important. We developed and tested a VR simulation for endotracheal suctioning. The aim of this pilot study was to examine the VR simulation’s acceptance and increase of knowledge among participants. Furthermore, the effects of presence on acceptance and increase of knowledge were investigated. A total of 51 students participated in the pilot study, using a quasi-experimental pre-post-test design. A modified Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and the Igroup Presence Questionnaire (IPQ) were used. Correlation and regression analyses were performed. Pre- and post-tests showed a significant increase of knowledge (p < 0.001). The correlation between presence and behavioural intention was highly positive (r = 0.52, p < 0.001). Performance and effort expectancy are dominant effects on behavioural intention of using the VR simulation as an educational tool. The results indicate that a simulation which conveys a higher sense of presence is more likely to be accepted by learners. Regarding outcomes of presence on increase of knowledge, we found no significant correlation. Based on our study, we propose a design for a future mixed reality simulation with haptic elements and a plan on how to assess skills improvement.


Plotzky, Christian; Lindwedel, Ulrike; Bejan, Alexander; König, Peter; Kunze, Christophe (2021): Virtual Reality in Healthcare Skills Training: The Effects of Presence on Acceptance and Increase of Knowledge. i-com: Vol. 20, No. 1. DOI: 10.1515/icom-2021-0008. Berlin: De Gruyter. PISSN: 2196-6826. pp. 73-83