Involving persons with dementia in the evaluation of outdoor environments

Van Schaik, Paul; Martyr, Anthony; Blackman, Tim and Robinson, John (2008). Involving persons with dementia in the evaluation of outdoor environments. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(4) pp. 415–424.



Using virtual reality (VR), we examined the barriers to and facilitators of functioning outdoors in persons with dementia (PwD) and investigated the generalizability of findings in VR to the real world. An existing town center was modeled in VR. PwD took part in both real- world and VR walks. Based on the results, the model was redesigned and then tested again. Performance on the walks improved, and potentially beneficial adaptations to outdoor environments were identified, but limitations of VR as a representation of the real world were also identified. We conclude that VR models, together with a rigorous behavioral testing method, can be a useful tool for the evaluation of outdoor environments and for identifying improvements for PwD.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 30972
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1557-8364
  • Project Funding Details
  • Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
    Not SetNot SetHealth Foundation [261/2353]
  • Extra Information
  • This is a copy of an article published in the CyberPsychology & Behavior © 2008 copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. CyberPsychology & Behavior is available online at:
  • Keywords
  • dementia; environment; planning; virtual reality; walking
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Other Departments > Vice-Chancellor's Office
    Other Departments
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2008 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
  • Related URLs
  • Depositing User
  • Tim Blackman