Virtual Reality-Based Training Software for Improved Recognition of Elder Abuse and Neglect


Executive Summary


Elder abuse and neglect (EA/N) affects 1 in 10 older adults. Despite high prevalence rates of elder abuse and neglect (EA/N), compliance with mandatory reporting remains low; a lack of practical training on EA/N has been identified as a barrier. Researchers at Michigan State University have developed an innovative virtual-reality based educational program intended to improve EA/N recognition and reporting among nurses and social workers providing in-home services.


Description of Technology


The overall goal of this training program is to increase compliance with mandatory reporting guidelines through improved recognition of EA/N. Increased recognition of EA/N cases among healthcare providers is crucial as it leads to enhanced care planning decisions by incorporating appropriate interventions relevant to the EA/N circumstances. The educational program consists of two parts including an introductory course and advanced assessment training in virtual-reality. The advanced assessment training is focused on learning to use the QualCare scale, an instrument used to assess quality of family caregiving. Data was evaluated in terms of user satisfaction, changes in knowledge and changes in practice. Results indicate that participants were satisfied with the content and format of the training program. Participants made gains in knowledge in identification and had 99% accuracy in their mandatory reporting decisions.


Key Benefits

  • Evaluation data indicate that this interdisciplinary training program was a satisfactory way to learn
  • Professionals reported making changes in their daily practice based on knowledge and skills learned
  • Clinical practice impact
  • Few implementation barriers encountered



  • Increased compliance with mandatory reporting
  • Increased recognition of EA/N cases among healthcare
  • Enhanced care planning decisions


Patent Status: 


Under Review


Licensing Rights Available


Full licensing rights available


Inventors: Dr. Carolyn E. Z. Pickering, Dr. Kimberly Ridenour, Dr. Zachary Salaysay, Dr. David Reyes-Gastelum, Dr. Steven J. Pierce



Patent Information:


For Information, Contact:

Jody Lancia
Technology Manager
Michigan State University