International Health Challenge
The International Health Challenge (IHC) is a multinational study that explores the utility of virtual worlds in innovative health interventions. It is funded in part by a grant from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. The purposes of the study are to determine (1) the feasibility of health interventions in the online Multi-User Virtual Environment of Second Life and (2) the role of social cohesion on virtual participation. Findings indicate participation is positively correlated with an increase in knowledge of physical activity and dietary habits and a reduction in consumption of calories from fat. Furthermore, demographics data show that Second Life was effective medium for reaching an audience at risk for obesity.
Related Publications and Abstracts
Siddiqi S, Mama SK, Lee RE. Developing an obesity prevention intervention in networked virtual environments: The International Health Challenge in Second Life. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research; 2011, 3(3).
Layne CS, Lee RE, O’Connor D, Horn C, McFarlin BK. Using Digital Communities to Enhance Student Persistence and Retention. In: Cases on Collaboration in Virtual Learning Environments. Kansas City, Missouri. 2010.
Lee RE, Layne CS, McFarlin BK, O’Connor D, Siddiqi S. Obesity Prevention in Second Life: The International Health Challenge. In: Cases on Collaboration in Virtual Learning Environments. Kansas City, Missouri. 2010.
Siddiqi S, Lee RE. Building Virtual Communities for Health Promotion: Emerging Best Practices through an Analysis of the International Health Challenge & Related Literature in Second Life. In: Virtual Learning Environments. Kansas City, Missouri. 2010.