Transplant Research Foundation of BC/CDTRP Venture Grant – Dr. Kathryn Armstrong

Through collaboration with partner organizations, CDTRP is pleased to announce the results of our annual Research Innovation Grant competition to fund exciting new project ideas. Over the coming weeks, we will be profiling all of the projects funded in the 2022 competition.

Transplant Research Foundation of BC/CDTRP Venture Grant

Dr. Kathryn Armstrong

  • Main affiliation: University of British Columbia
  • Theme 5 – Restore Long-Term Health
  • Title: Virtual reality and gameplay as a model for exercise rehabilitation in pediatric solid organ transplant patients. A patient and family led initiative 

Lay abstract

Participation in regular exercise is important for the health of all children including those that have had a solid organ transplant. Finding engaging ways to get children to be active and stay active can be a problem. Our group has tried to increase activity in patients by providing structured exercise programs in hospital, at-home, and online. Recently, one of our transplant patients and his dad told us about how they were using virtual reality (VR) gameplay as a way to exercise and recover from a transplant.  While we worried about adding more screen-time for our patients, we thought that this idea might get kids who liked “gaming” to be more active. Our goal is to study 20 solid organ transplant patients, ages 8-18 years, who will play VR games for a minimum of 30 minutes/day, 3 days/week for 8 weeks. We believe that 8-weeks of playing VR games will motivate them to exercise and help them stay active.

“This project truly demonstrates patient engagement and we applaud Dr. Armstrong and her team for listening to their patients and caregivers. The TRFBC is excited to support a project that will help make a difference for children and youth, and potentially adults, with transplants.”

Elaine Yong, Transplant Research Foundation of BC (TRFBC) Co-Chair