Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Christen Guffey Page

Department Affiliation

Clinical Therapeutic Programs

Second Advisor

Kellie C. Ellis

Department Affiliation

Clinical Therapeutic Programs

Third Advisor

Leah Simpkins

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy


The movement towards providing person-centered care has been a topic of interest in the medical community, however, little is known about the facilitation of person-centered care in the field of speech-language pathology. Current literature indicates that speech-language pathologists typical follow the medical model of diagnosing and treating patients. Thus, more emphasis on providing person centered care is essential, especially for persons with dementia, as the number of individuals living with dementia is increasing and research indicates that outcomes are improved when treatment is person-centered. Despite this finding, research on the efficacy of training future speech-language pathologist to provide person-centered care is limited. According to the The Task Force of the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD), alternative learning opportunities, such as simulation, should be incorporated into training programs to provide students with a host of learning opportunities. However, the effects of simulation-based training in terms of preparing students to treat persons with dementia is unknown. In this way, the principal investigator conducted a mixed methods study that included 16 females in a graduate communication disorders program to evaluate if the difference in treatment goals developed prior to and after a virtual reality dementia experience represented the participants’ perspectives of the relationship between a virtual reality dementia experience and future practices of students in a graduate communication disorders program.