Safety at work: A VR-based experiential program for Positive Behavioural Support

Occupational violence is a significant risk within the disability sector, in particular where DSWs support people with a disability in a residential or community environment where some individuals may exhibit challenging behaviours, in extreme cases involving violence. Acknowledging this challenge, Scope, one of Australia’s largest providers of disability support services and the lead provider of PBS training in Victoria, initiated this project.

‘Safety at Work’ is a multi-disciplinary research initiative that aims to mainstream VR for training disability support workers in positive behaviour support (PBS) for people with disabilities. The project aims to do this by developing and evaluating a new approach to VR-based PBS training. The project at large is compromised of four studies – study one and two examine the feasibility and user experience relating to training, whereas studies three and four examine the effectiveness of program via a quasi-randomized control trial involving a multi-phase data collection process. The study design involves qualitative data in the form of interviews and focus groups as well as quantitative data via questionnaires.

Swinburne University