Three-year Project Will Use Virtual Worlds to Disseminate Health Information
Virtual Ability, Inc. is pleased to announce its participation in Virtual Health Adventures, a major project that will apply amputee-rehabilitation lessons learned from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to the mainstream amputee population. The project is lead by Nova Southeastern University, College of Health Care Sciences - Occupational Therapy and the College of Computer and Information Science, and funded by a grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The three-year Virtual Health Adventures project will use the virtual world of Second Life® to provide evidence-based health information for individuals with upper and lower limb amputation(s), their families, and the clinicians who serve individuals with amputation. In addition, the project will conduct a randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of providing this information in a virtual world environment compared with providing it via a traditional CD-ROM.
Nova Southeastern University and its multiple partners on this project will develop the health-related content and conduct the clinical trial. Virtual Ability, Inc., as one of the project subcontractors, will develop the Second Life® virtual environment, and provide virtual world community management services for the duration of the project.
Amputation is a chronic, life-long condition. Acquiring current and evolving prosthetic and health-related information will be an ongoing process throughout the lifespan of the amputee. The objective of the Virtual Health Adventures project research is to provide amputees with evidence-based information to improve their health and quality of life while decreasing the burden of this chronic condition on society.
Commenting on the project, Alice Krueger, President of Virtual Ability, Inc., said, "I am very pleased that Virtual Ability can continue to build on our previous work on community building in virtual worlds. This project will not only promote the use of evidence-based health information to improve the quality of life of amputees learning to use their prosthetics, but will also let us assess the use of virtual worlds for this type of activity."
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is the nation's eighth largest, not-for-profit, independent university, with more than 28,000 students and 148,000 alumni. In addition to a main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the university also hosts field-based programs in 32 other Florida cities, in 23 states, and at 16 international sites. NSU is a fully accredited institution awarding undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. For further information, please see www.nova.edu
Funding for the Virtual Health Adventures project is provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a department of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. AHRQ’s mission is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. As one of 12 agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, AHRQ supports research that helps people make more informed decisions and improves the quality of health care services. For more information about AHRQ, please see www.ahrq.gov.
About Virtual Ability, Inc.
Virtual Ability, Inc. is a woman- and disability-owned Colorado-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that is the leading provider of support and information for and about people with disabilities in virtual world settings. Virtual Ability enables people with a wide range of disabilities by providing a supporting environment for them to enter and thrive in online virtual worlds. For more information about Virtual Ability, please see www.virtualability.org.
Contact: Alice Krueger, President, Virtual Ability, Inc.
akrueger <at> virtualability.org