Virtual reality environments (VRE) for pre-and post- registration health professional education




Poster session 3 Friday: Evidence Tools / Evidence synthesis - creation, publication and updating in the digital age


Friday 15 September 2017 - 12:30 to 14:00


All authors in correct order:

Kyaw BM1, Saxena N2, Posadzki P1, Vseteckova J3, Nikolaou CK4, Paul P2, Divakar U1, Kononowicz AA5, Masiello I6, Zary N5, Car J1, Tudor Car L7
1 Centre for Population Health Sciences (CePHaS), Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2 Health Services and Outcomes Research (HSOR), National Healthcare Group, Singapore
3 Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University, UK
4 Centre de philosophie du droit (Cellule Biogov), Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
5 Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
6 Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
7 Centre for PopulaLee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Bhone Myint Kyaw

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Virtual Reality Environments (VRE) are simulated counterparts of a real world that can help users experience situations that would normally be difficult in the real world to gain practical knowledge and experience in a simulated environment.

Objectives: The objective of this Cochrane review is to assess the effectiveness of VRE-based eLearning for pre- and post-registration healthcare professionals (HCPs) in terms of their knowledge, skills, attitude gain and satisfaction.

Methods: Seven databases were searched for studies on eLearning from 1990 to August 2016.

Results: The search strategy yielded 25 739 records and 41 RCTs with 2700 participants were included. The interventions tested in studies consist of three dimensional (3D) VREs displayed on a computer screen, 3D digital anatomy models, virtual reality clinics, rooms and head-mounted virtual reality displays. The interventions that these were compared to (the control interventions) were traditional classroom/textbook learning, 2D images and 3D VREs. Our findings suggest that certain subgroups of VRE (Virtual clinics/patients and 3D models) probably improved knowledge gain post-intervention for pre-registration healthcare professionals compared to traditional learning (face-to-face lecture, textbooks, paper-based learning, printed models, simulated patients and manikins) or using 2D-images (computer- and textbook-based learning).

Conclusions: Based on our preliminary findings, the effectiveness of VRE-based eLearning interventions in medical education is promising. However, the overall quality of evidence was low due to unknown risk of bias and inconsistency.