Impact of Virtual Patient Interaction Training in Emotional Self-Awareness on Patients Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Crisis Syndrome

Impact of Virtual Patient Interaction Training in Emotional Self-Awareness on Patients Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Crisis Syndrome

  • Project Title: Impact of Virtual Patient Interaction Training in Emotional Self-Awareness on Patients Suicidal Ideation and Suicide Crisis Syndrome
  • VERG Researchers: Heng Yao, Alexandre Gomes de Siqueira
  • Description: In this project, clinicians interview virtual human patients that have suicidal thoughts. The conversations aim to teach and provide real-time feedback to clinicians on how to provide patients with empathetic responses. Clinicians can both type or verbally speak to the virtual humans, and both their verbal and non-verbal reactions are captured and analyzed.
    • Problem: Clinician’s first reaction to patients that have suicidal thoughts can serve as predictors to patients actually committing suicide. The more empathetic the clinicians are, the smaller the chances the patients will commit suicide. Training clinicians usually require specialists that are not just outnumbered by the clinicians that need to be trained but also have a high cost. Interviews with virtual patients can be effective in training clinicians’ empathetic responses, in a platform that is scalable and provides the training at a lower cost.
    • Goals: This project focuses on training clinicians in two key indices of emotional self-awareness (ESA) in interactions with suicidal patients: 1) recognition of one’s own negative emotional responses and 2) the ability to communicate empathy verbally.
    • Technology: Virtual People Factory (C#, JavaScript), Unity
  • Links to videos: N/A
  • Publications connected to the project:
    • Abstracts/Posters
      • Using a Virtual Patient Interaction to Connect with Patients at Risk of Suicide, Sandhu, S., Barzilay S., Yao, H., Luna, A., Rodriguez, C., Lok, B., Foster, A., Galynker, I., International Academy of Suicide Research/Academy for Suicide Prevention (IASR/AFSP) International Summit on Suicide Research, October 27-30, Miami Beach, FL