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Preliminary contact with participants

•Subjects' parents were contacted to schedule an appointment during the September, 1998 school term holidays.

•An information pack was mailed to participants' parents 7 - 10 days prior to the scheduled appointment. The instructions included completing the CPRS-93 one week prior to the scheduled appointment, or as soon as it was received, if the interval was less than a week.

Virtual reality dolphin encounter

•A waiting area was allocated in the foyer of the Applied Science Building at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn. A sign informed the participants where to wait (see Appendix J).

•The experimenter greeted subjects and their families there and escorted them to the laboratory.

•Questionnaires and consent forms were collected. Stickers with the child's name were removed from the former to preserve anonymity.

•The session was conducted in a sound-shielded and light-shielded room.

• Participants were familiarised with the area and the VR equipment.

• They were given the option of having parents present during the session or having parents wait in an adjacent room, which contained reading material about complementary medicine approaches to AD/HD.

•Subjects were asked if they had a fear of the dark and whether they preferred to conduct the session with the lights on or off.

•They were informed that they were to alert the experimenter when they wished to cease viewing the footage and that if they did not do so, the session would proceed for 30 minutes.

•Subjects who were over 8 years of age were shown the volume control mechanism on the VR HMD. For younger subjects the volume was preset at a moderate level.

•Session duration was timed and noted for each participant.

•Salient comments made by participants and parents were noted.

•At the 17 minute mark, footage became scrambled. The distortion lasted 17 seconds. Participants were warned at the 16.5 minute mark that this would occur. Speaking to them at this point in the session was used to check in with them how they were feeling and if they wished to continue.

•Any head movements were noted as "tracking" or "following" on the client record sheet.

•Several subjects noted eyestrain or mild headaches at the session's end. Some complained that the virtual reality goggles had been uncomfortable. These individuals were invited to remain sitting quietly with their parents, until symptoms eased. This occurred within 5 to 10 minutes in all cases.

•Two male participants were agitated by the diver-camera operator's respiration sounds and occasional murmuring.

•At the conclusion of each session, parents were invited to experience the VRDE briefly. They were given a second kit, which contained another copy of the CPRS-93 and instructions (see Appendix K) to complete it at 48 hours after the session, based on behaviour displayed by the child during the intervening time, and return it in the reply paid envelope provided (see Appendix L) as soon as possible. This copy of the questionnaire was also printed with subjects' case number and the letter "B" to indicate that it was administered after the VRDE.

•One week following appointments, parents who had not returned the second questionnaire were contacted by telephone and reminded to do so.

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Copyright © 1998 Ilanit Tof, All Rights Reserved.