A study demonstrates encouraging outcomes in using Virtual Reality for combating depression.

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Reducing anxiety, loneliness, and depression with VR: Studies show positive effects of virtual reality for seniors.

Dr. Kim Bullock and her team at Stanford University conducted a study to examine how effective virtual reality (VR) is as a treatment for depression. The aim was to discover a viable option for patients who struggle to engage in physical activities or venture outside their residence due to their symptoms.

The study involved 26 people with major depressive disorder who were divided into two groups. One group received conventional behavioral treatment, while the other group used VR headsets to participate in various virtual activities. The study lasted four weeks, and participants met weekly with a clinical psychologist.

The findings showed that both sets of individuals saw comparable decreases in symptoms related to depression. This implies that virtual reality may be a promising approach for treating depression, particularly for patients who struggle with traditional therapies.

Patients can receive treatment at home with the help of virtual reality.

Dr. Bullock states that virtual reality (VR) has the potential to decrease obstacles in accessing mental health services. Specifically, VR enables patients to receive treatment within the familiar setting of their own homes. Prior investigations have examined various applications of VR in the field of mental health, such as tackling fears and phobias, alleviating pain, and enhancing social capacities.

Margot Paul, clinical assistant professor, was instrumental in conducting the pilot study and subsequent randomized controlled trial. The team is now planning larger, longer-term studies to determine the best methods for delivering virtual behavioral activation and which patient populations might benefit most from VR treatment.

The participants expressed incredibly positive feedback regarding the utilization of virtual reality (VR). Numerous individuals stated feeling motivated by the virtual activities, which consequently led to increased physical activity and a desire to engage in more activities outside of their homes. Taking into consideration this favorable feedback, the team created a companion app for VR behavioral activation. This app assists in setting up the devices and sends reminders to encourage participation in the activities.

VR Therapy shows positive effects in the elderly

Dr. Laurent Tatu from France conducted a study investigating the impact of 360-degree virtual reality (VR) videos on older individuals, some of whom had cognitive impairment. A total of 524 older adults, ranging from 68 to 87 years old, participated in ten trials. The findings demonstrated that VR can enhance overall well-being by diminishing feelings of anxiety, apathy, loneliness, and depression. Additionally, VR proved beneficial in promoting social inclusion and improving quality of life.

After just a few VR sessions, positive outcomes were observed. The participants expressed satisfaction and a sense of realism while engaging in VR, resulting in a reduction of negative feelings and an elevation of positive emotions. Specifically, natural settings like forests and beaches were highly effective in promoting a sense of serenity. Only a few participants experienced slight side effects such as dizziness and motion sickness, although such occurrences were infrequent.

AgeWell New York, a specialty insurer in the US, has recently started including VR therapy sessions in its CareWell plan for nursing home residents. These sessions are made possible through a partnership with MyndVR, a company that specializes in providing VR experiences tailored for seniors. MyndVR primarily focuses on virtual travel, recreation, and arts and culture experiences to cater to the elderly population.

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