Team including PBS Prof Nancy Collins Awarded Funding for Virtual Reality Clinical Trial
Profs. Tamara Afifi (Dept Communications) and Nancy Collins (Dept Psychological and Brain Sciences) were recently awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct a two-year clinical trial testing whether virtual reality experiences can improve the quality of life for seniors and their adult children. The study will involve older adults who live in senior living communities and their adult children who live out of town. Family pairs will be assigned to participate together in either standard video calls or interactive VR experiences once a week for a month. This research is expected to contribute to the development of new tools for foster social connection and improve quality of life for older adults when families must be kept apart due to geographic distance or during a public health emergency like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
To read more about the research, see the article in the UCSB Current by Harrison Tasoff: https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2021/020413/uniting-generations