Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

An evaluation of the validity, reliability and acceptability of a virtual reality system in assessing cognitive function using mixed methods

Clinical A/P (Dr) Tan Ngiap Chuan, MBBS, MMed, FAMS | SingHealth Polyclinics; Prof (Dr) Ng Chirk Jenn, MBBS, MMed, PhD | SingHealth Polyclinics; Lim Jie En, B.Eng | SingHealth Polyclinics; Koh Yi Ling Eileen, B.Sc.| SingHealth Polyclinics
Competition Sponsor: Ministry of Health and National Research Foundation of Singapore
Awardee year: 2022

Dementia is increasingly prevalent in aging populations. Early identification of cognitive impairment is important, so that interventions can be initiated to retard the decline of cognitive function. However, current paper-and-pencil-based cognitive tests like the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) may not adequately predict the cognitive function of individuals in real-life environments. Virtual reality (VR) is a potential alternative, but existing VR systems are limited in evaluating all cognitive domains. We have developed a novel fully-immersive VR system (CAVIRE) to assess all six cognitive domains: perceptual-motor function, executive function, complex attention, social cognition, learning and memory, and language.

This study aims to evaluate the validity, reliability and acceptability of CAVIRE among older individuals. We hypothesise that CAVIRE is a valid and reliable screening tool for cognitive impairment, and the participants are acceptable towards its use in primary care.

The study will be conducted at two polyclinics in Singapore. Participants aged 55-84 years old will be recruited. In Visit 1, an assessor will conduct the CAVIRE assessment for the participants. Subsequently, a second assessor, blinded to the participants’ CAVIRE score, will conduct the MoCA. Participants will return for Visit 2 to repeat the CAVIRE assessment, followed by an interview and questionnaire to capture their feedback.

Validity will be evaluated via Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis of the CAVIRE scores, and Pearson correlation of the CAVIRE and MoCA scores. Reliability will be assessed via Cronbach alpha and Intraclass Correlation Coefficients. Acceptability will be evaluated using mixed methods via interviews and feedback questionnaires.


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