Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Yong Pei, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Paul J. Hershberger, Ph.D. (Committee Co-Chair); Mateen M. Rizki, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


This thesis research project focuses on design and development of an immersion simulation-based training tool that help raise the social determinants of health (SDOH) awareness among the health care providers. Compared to existing classroom lecture and/or role-play based SDOH education approach, our immersion-simulation based approach provides an easy access and highly realistic experience to such training curriculum at anytime and anywhere with an Internet connection. Such an interactive and immersive exposure is critical to raise SDOH awareness and maintain long-lasting empathy towards actual patients in practice, and thus help providers to be better prepared when encountering with those patients. Particularly, this thesis has contributed to the first mobile virtual immersion dedicated for SDOH training. We take advantage of the latest advances in mobile VR technologies to create the new SDOH training mobile game that is made available for both tablets and smartphone devices. It presents specifically such Social determinants of health as numerous adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), SUD, race and ethnicity, unemployment, and single mothers. A preliminary validation was carried out to assess its acceptance and effectiveness as a training tool. Early evidences from the collected data show that this simulation is an effective learning platform that helps providers: 1) decrease any negative biases toward patients; and, 2) be a more understanding health professional.

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Department or Program

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.