Graded exercise stress test scenarios and incidences for exercise physiologists: Is there scope for training and assessment via virtual reality technology?
Journal of Exercise Physiology
American Society of Exercise Physiologists
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) / Exercise Medicine Research Institute
The graded exercise stress test (GEST) is used by the Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) to evaluate patient heart health and prescribe rehabilitative exercise. Understanding, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating the different pathological cardiac conditions during the GEST is important for exercise treatment. GEST training and assessments are typically conducted through live simulation experiences making it difficult to simulate actual high-risk clinical cases. Virtual reality (VR) provides a means of delivering reliable and immersive simulated experiences that can engage and enhance student learning. Ten AEPs were interviewed to identify current barriers to GEST training and assessment provision. Barriers were presented to a cohort of five experienced VR software developers who suggested VR platforms could work to effectively alleviate identified barriers. The findings indicate that the traditional GEST training model provides a solid foundation of understanding. However, there are limitations such as ensuring that the students experience all aspects of the task as well as the work with high acuity patients.