Implementing Virtual Reality in Advanced Fall Prevention, Building Resilience and Balancing Risk


Jenna welcomes Dr. Grant Handrigan, professor at the Université de Moncton and principal investigator for the Implementing Virtual Reality in Advanced Fall Prevention, Building Resilience and Balancing Risk research project. They discuss the relative lack of fall management and prevention programs, the fear of falling as a barrier to a more active life, and the need for sustainable programs for both seniors and youth with regard to falls.

We’re all aging, and everyone’s talking about it!

Key Takeaways

[:41] Jenna welcomes Dr. Grant Handrigan to talk about his most recent project involving virtual reality.

[1:39] Grant shares how he came to work with virtual reality as well as what this project is looking to evaluate.

[4:48] Falls get left out despite the fact that they are an important cause of hospitalisation and often lead to a shift in independence levels.

[8:26] Grant talks about what he hopes this research provides in terms of implementing the use of VR for fall prevention and the management of fear of falling.

[11:52] Based on the most recent literature, the project is developing a program and beginning the recruitment of participants.

[13:41] Sustainability is hard to predict in the very early stages of a program, Grant shares the possible barriers he sees.

[16:15] Jenna thanks Dr. Grant Handrigan for sharing the beginnings of this project and signs off until the next episode. Thank you to all listeners!

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Project Team Biographies

Grant Handrigan: Grant Handrigan is an associate professor at the École de kinésiologie et de loisir at the Université de Moncton. He has a PhD in kinesiology from Université Laval where he was supervised by Professor Philippe Corbeil and Professor Martin Simoneau. His MSc degree is from Memorial University in exercise and work physiology where he was supervised by Dr. Fabien A. Basset. He also holds an undergraduate degree in kinesiology from Memorial University. 

Dr. Jalila Jbilou: Dr. Jalila Jbilou is an associate professor at the Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick and the School of psychology at the Université de Moncton. She holds a medical speciality certificate in public health (2006) and a PhD in community health (2010). Dr. Jbilou has expertise in qualitative and quantitative research as well as implementation science. Her main interest in research is on how to design, implement and evaluate synergistic interfaces between preventive medicine and primary care services. 

Professeur Mark Chignell: Professor Mark Chignell has been a professor from the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering faculty at the University of Toronto since 1990. He is a leading expert in human factors, with a particular focus on the design and evaluation of interactive systems that support human performance and decision-making. His research is highly interdisciplinary and draws on theories and methods from engineering, psychology, computer science, and other fields. He has published over 400 articles on topics such as human-computer interaction, user experience, and information visualization. Professor Chignell’s latest startup company, Centivizer Inc funded by the AGEWELL National Centre of Excellence, creates exergaming and cognitive assessment products to support healthy aging.

You Zhi: You Zhi is a first-year PhD student studying human factors engineering at the University of Toronto. With a background in cognitive psychology, she has expertise in evaluating the efficacy of online cognitive assessment games aimed at assessing the cognitive abilities of older adults. Her current research focuses on the development and evaluation of virtual reality applications combined with psychotherapy to promote mental wellness.

Other individuals in this project include Danica Maillet, Caroline Lovens and Mélanie Guitar.

Mentioned in this episode

The MileAGE Podcast

Healthy Seniors Pilot Project

More about your hosts

Jenna Roddick at APPTA

Jenna Roddick on Twitter

Jenna Roddick on LinkedIn

Tweetables (edited)

“Falls don’t get the attention they deserve.”

“Falls and the following hospitalisations can lead to some pretty dramatic changes for a lot of people.”

“The literature is pretty clear that for fall reduction you need three hours of activity per week.”