This proposal aims to address safety issues with patients with cranial nerve palsies. Cranial nerves palsies are nerve disorders that can result in patients that present asymmetric eye movement or facial responses. Cranial nerve palsies are relatively uncommon, resulting in delays in diagnosis with suboptimal patient outcomes. Cranial nerve experiences with virtual patients (VPs) would fill this important educational role. This proposal will develop, evaluate, and distribute a cranial nerve palsies VP module. Using this module, learners would practice and be assessed on cranial nerve diagnosis and evaluation.
Specific Aim #1 - Develop a set of seven VPs with vision problems due to common cranial nerve palsies. In the interactions with the VPs, students would conduct a patient history, a neurological exam (including using an ophthalmoscope and administering tests such as holding up fingers, visual acuity, and asking the patient to project the tongue), and an after-action review of the patient-doctor interview.
Specific Aim #2 - Distribute the cranial nerve VP module online, in virtual worlds, and in immersive virtual reality (VR) The module will be widely distributed to three health professions educators (nursing, medicine, and physician assistants. First, the scenarios will be available online via a standard web-browser. Second, the scenarios will be available through Second Life, a popular existing virtual worlds system. Third, the scenarios will be available using immersive VR systems setups.
Specific Aim #3 - Use the neurological exam to enable practice, evaluate performance, and evaluate Learning. The neurological exam module will be integrated into curriculums at the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and Medical College of Georgia. Students in the courses will be taught neurological conditions using the cranial nerve palsies module. Studies to evaluate learning and patient safety impacts will be conducted.
This work will improve public health by exposing students to infrequent or difficult to simulate scenarios. Medical students will interact with computer-generated 3D immersive virtual patients with cranial nerve palsies.
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