Biomedical Sciences and Visualization

Development and Evaluation of Immersive Simulations for use in Response Training for Outbreaks of Infectious Disease

Funding Source: The Ohio State University, Office of Academic Affairs, Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Disease (PHPID) Targeted Investment in Excellence (TIE)
Principal Investigator: J. Mac Crawford, RN, MS, PhD, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, The Ohio State University College of Public Health
Co-Investigator: Don Stredney, OSC
Duration: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2009

This collaborative project includes The College of Public Health, the Ohio Center for Public Health Preparedness (OCPHP), the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC), the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Medicine at The Ohio State University. The effort includes the creation of a computer-simulation-based incident management training simulation laboratory for public health practitioners. Using a combination of remote electronic content delivery and an exercise/gaming scenario, OCPHP will use a multimedia, web-based module to train practitioners to develop plans of action to respond to simulated infectious-disease incidents. Trainees are randomized upon study entry to receive, in addition to the multimedia training, either a gaming-environment exercise simulation or a standard PowerPoint-based tabletop exercise. Six-month follow-up of satisfaction with the training and knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the content will be compared to baseline across the two exercise groups. Additionally, 14 subjects (seven from each exercise modality) will be monitored for signs of physiologic stress (e.g., salivary cortisol, interbeat interval, galvanic skin resistance, and respiration rate) while performing in the exercise simulation to assess degree of “buy in” to the scenarios. This simulation laboratory will not only meet a critical training need for the region, but will provide a model for development of other training modules for first responders and other health professionals nationwide.