Augmented reality-based affective training for improving care communication skill and empathy
It is important for caregivers of people with dementia (PwD) to have good patient communication skills as it has been known to reduce the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) of PwD as well as caregiver burnout. However, acquiring such skills often requires one-on-one affective training, which can be costly. In this study, we propose affective training using augmented reality (AR) for supporting the acquisition of such skills. The system uses see-through AR glasses and a nursing training doll to train the user in both practical nursing skills and affective skills such as eye contact and patient communication. The experiment was conducted with 38 nursing students. The participants were assigned to either the Doll group, which only used a doll for training, or the AR group, which used both a doll and the AR system. The results showed that eye contact significantly increased and the face-to-face distance and angle decreased in the AR group, while the Doll group had no significant difference. In addition, the empathy score of the AR group significantly increased after the training. Upon analyzing the correlation between personality and changes of physical skills, we found a significant positive correlation between the improvement rate of eye contact and extraversion in the AR group. These results demonstrated that affective training using AR is effective for improving caregivers' physical skills and their empathy for their patients. We believe that this system will be beneficial not only for dementia caregivers but for anyone looking to improve their general communication skills.
Nakazawa, A., Iwamoto, M., Kurazume, R., Nunoi, M., Kobayashi, M., & Honda, M. (2023). Augmented reality-based affective training for improving care communication skill and empathy. PloS One, 18 (7), e0288175. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0288175