Skip to content
Dementia Research Articles

Dr. Marie Savundranayagam, School of Health Studies, Western University

Be-EPIC-VR is a new study built off Be-EPIC, which involves the creation of a virtual reality version of Be-EPIC. The study explores the similarities and differences of experiences in virtual reality simulations and real-world clinical interactions with persons living with dementia. The goal is to understand the factors that lead to the successful implementation of online modules and simulations in Be EPIC-VR and the factors that influence Be EPIC-VR’s implementation in home care and long-term care settings. The training is a collaboration between researchers at Western University and community partners, including McCormick Dementia Services. The Be EPIC-VR training is 10 hours long and includes interactive modules on using person-centred communication to support routine care activities, address responsive behaviours and address symptoms of delirium. The study is in four phases.

Phase 1 involved the Beta testing of the VR simulations for PSWs who took Be-EPIC in person.

Phase 2 sought to interview managers of direct care workers to assess factors that contribute to the successful implementation of Be-EPIC VR. Managers (n=8) from four home care agencies and long-term care homes participated in Be EPIC-VR.

The study is currently in Phase 3 out of 4. This phase is called the feasibility study and aims to assess the feasibility of a fully remote implementation of the Be EPIC-VR training pilot test, the complete training on PSWs for the first time, and the preliminary effectiveness of the program. McCormick continues to partner with Dr. Marie and her team on the study.


Focus group data collected during the implementation of Be EPIC-VR reveal that it had a positive impact by:

a) providing an authentic, engaging, and immersive learning experience

b) enhancing person-centred communication skills

c) creating an openness to implementing Be EPIC-VR within organizations to improve the

quality of dementia care

For more information, please contact Steve Crawford, CEO, McCormick Care Group, at 519-432-2648 ext. 2319, or by e-mail at