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Mar 20, 2006

Synthetic character trains medical students

Researchers at RTI International have developed a virtual reality training simulation that allows users to practice responding to some of the most common participant questions relating to informed consent. The simulation was tested in the Medical Cognition Laboratory at Duke University. 
Participants, 24 undergraduate students at Duke University, were trained by the synthetic character (a female in her 30s). Findings showed that after training, these students better comprehended the interviewee’s questions, responded more appropriately and were more likely to obtain cooperation from the interviewee than than a control group of participants who only studied written materials, as is standard practice. The study was published in this month’s online edition of the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.

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