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Piloting an adaptive skills virtual reality intervention for adults with autism: findings from user-centered formative design and evaluation

Piloting an adaptive skills virtual reality intervention for adults with autism: findings from... The purpose of this paper is to present evaluation findings from a proof-of-concept virtual reality adaptive skills intervention called Virtuoso, designed for adults with autism spectrum disorders.Design/methodology/approachA user-centric usage test was conducted to investigate the acceptability, feasibility, ease-of-use and relevance of Virtuoso to the unique needs of participants, as well as the nature of participants’ user experiences. Findings are presented from the perspectives of expert testers and participant testers with autism.FindingsThis paper offers findings that suggest Virtuoso is feasible and relevant to the unique needs of the target population, and that user experience was largely positive. Anecdotal evidence of skills transfer is also discussed.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was conducted in limited settings and with a small number of participants. Multiple VR hardware systems were used, and some experienced instability. This could be accounted for in future research by deploying across multiple settings and with a larger number of participants. Some evidence of cybersickness was observed. Future research must carefully consider the trade-offs between VR-based training and cybersickness for this vulnerable population.Originality/valueThis paper reports on cutting-edge design and development in areas that are under-represented and poorly understood in the literature on virtual reality for individuals with autism. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Enabling Technologies Emerald Publishing

Piloting an adaptive skills virtual reality intervention for adults with autism: findings from user-centered formative design and evaluation

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2398-6263
DOI
10.1108/jet-09-2020-0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present evaluation findings from a proof-of-concept virtual reality adaptive skills intervention called Virtuoso, designed for adults with autism spectrum disorders.Design/methodology/approachA user-centric usage test was conducted to investigate the acceptability, feasibility, ease-of-use and relevance of Virtuoso to the unique needs of participants, as well as the nature of participants’ user experiences. Findings are presented from the perspectives of expert testers and participant testers with autism.FindingsThis paper offers findings that suggest Virtuoso is feasible and relevant to the unique needs of the target population, and that user experience was largely positive. Anecdotal evidence of skills transfer is also discussed.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was conducted in limited settings and with a small number of participants. Multiple VR hardware systems were used, and some experienced instability. This could be accounted for in future research by deploying across multiple settings and with a larger number of participants. Some evidence of cybersickness was observed. Future research must carefully consider the trade-offs between VR-based training and cybersickness for this vulnerable population.Originality/valueThis paper reports on cutting-edge design and development in areas that are under-represented and poorly understood in the literature on virtual reality for individuals with autism.

Journal

Journal of Enabling TechnologiesEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 8, 2021

Keywords: Virtual reality; Autism; Immersive technologies; Head-mounted display

References