A Stafford company has conducted a study with a local charity that shows that virtual reality headsets have a positive effect on mental health and well-being.
Project Vae conducted a six-week VR trial with Katharine House Hospice in Stafford, Staffordshire, where they conducted 360 ° video excursions to eight hospice patients.
It was an idea of Ben Malone, of Gnosall, who has been working in this direction for four or five years. He filmed the videos, edited them and showed the RV content to the patients.
The first week was an introductory session where patients met Ben Malone, owner and creative director of the Vae CIC Project, and adapted to VR headphones.
In each of the following sessions, patients were shown videos from Germany, Scotland, Cornwall, the Peak District, the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool and finally Thailand.
Ben explains: “The videos were six to 24 minutes long and were designed in a vlog way. It was about further enhancing the patient experience, allowing them to feel like they have a partner with them on the adventure, rather than just showing static clips of a beautiful place.
“In the videos, there is also a wide 360 ° aerial video, where patients had a bird’s eye view and flew around the location. The videos feel like a real adventure and are designed to make viewers feel something. ”
The research element of this essay was in collaboration with Keele University and The Midlands
NHS Foundation Trust Association. It was also funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.
Speaking of the conclusion, Ben, 29, said: “Personally, I think the trial was a huge success. Patients picked up the technology much faster than they could have expected and actually accepted the trial. They were fully immersed in each video and this really helped the overall success of the test.
“Watching these videos, having such a positive effect on the patients and seeing how they participated with me during the videos as well as between them (the participants who did it in pairs) was extremely rewarding for me.
“Patients also mentioned that they had had a topic of conversation between them, family and friends over the next week. Some even decided to investigate in more depth about the locations that were shown. This showed that the videos had a lasting effect even after the patients had finished each session.
“A huge thank you to all the patients who have given their time to participate. His enthusiasm and willingness to try something new were key to the success of this test, so thank you.
“Another thank you to all the staff at Katharine House Hospice for being so open to trying this technology and for being so welcoming and welcoming during my stay there. It was great to meet you all.
“Thanks are also due to Rashi & Saeed for their input on the trial research element. Thank you very much for taking some time out of your busy schedules to be a part of this.
“And finally, a thank you to the team at The National Lottery Community Fund for rolling the dice with Project Vae and giving me the opportunity to finally show what I’ve been saying for years.
“That this technology has the potential to help a lot of people.”
For more information, visit https://www.benmalone.co.uk/projectvae.