Embodied Patient Experiences

Virtual, interactive case studies designed to show pathologies from the first-person patient perspective.


The Beatriz Lab


Topic: Loss of Cognitive Functions due to progressive AD.

Summary: The learner will embody Beatriz, a middle-aged Latina woman, as she progresses through early, middle, and late stage Alzheimer’s Disease. (AD).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognize that AD affects more parts of the brain than just those involved with memory.
  • Identify ways that AD affects communication in the brain.
  • Recognizes that changes in visual and auditory processing due to AD can disrupt activities of daily living.
  • Describe ways that a person with AD can be redirected, calmed, and engaged.
  • Identify ways that their role in communication and teamwork between the patient, their families, healthcare personnel and systems contribute to the quality of life of a person with AD.
  • Describe ways that a person with AD can have relationships and enjoy life despite their progressing disease.
Part 1 - "Early Stage AD"

Topics: Early signs and symptoms of AD, changes in family relationships, daily living with mild cognitive impairment.

Summary: The learner embodies Beatriz and realizes her brain is changing, struggles with cognitive processes in public and family life, and finds a way to talk to her family about being sick.



Part 2 - "Middle Stage AD"

Topics: Visual representation of what progressing AD looks like in the brain, signs and symptoms of middle stage AD, caregiver burnout, family conflict over care decisions, role of the nurse case manager, resources for families affected by AD

Summary: The learner sees the way AD affects neurotransmitters inside Beatriz’s brain, embodies Beatriz and experiences hallucinations, becomes confused at home and needs help, and attends a family meeting where decisions are being made about her future.

Part 3 - "Late Stage AD"

Topic: Signs and symptoms of late stage AD, caregiver burnout, role of the CNA, family relationships, power of music and memory.

Summary: The learner embodies Beatriz as she receives care from a CNA, sees her family struggle with emotions related to her progressing AD, and experiences moments of joy during a holiday.


The Alfred Lab

Part 1 - "We are Alfred"

Topics: Advanced macular degeneration, high-frequency hearing loss, affect of family relationships on health status, navigating the healthcare system with impairments, role of the doctor, cognitive assessments.

Summary: The learner will embody Alfred, a 74-year old African-American man with macular degeneration and high frequency hearing loss, as he spends time with family, visits the doctor, and receives a diagnosis.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Recognize that communication is affected by the two most common aging processes - hearing and vision loss.
  • Describe insights about the perspective and feelings of an aging adult.
  • Identify ways that the learner's role in communication and teamwork between the patient, their families, healthcare personnel and systems contribute to the quality of life of a person with macular degeneration and hearing loss.
Part 2 - "At the Peripheral"

Topic: Living with macular degeneration

Summary: Follow six people living with macular degeneration.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify ways people with macular degeneration can use technology and assistive devices to improve their quality of life.
  • Describe what happens inside an eyeball getting progressively worse macular degeneration.


More labs coming soon!

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