Virtual Reality Could Assist in Managing Psychological Distress in Adolescents
Managing Psychological Distress with Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality Could Assist in Managing Psychological Distress in Adolescents

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According to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, virtual reality could effectively manage psychological distress in adolescents across a range of treatment scenarios.

Puberty, schooling, self-identity, intimate relationships, and financial dependence are common challenges adolescents face, resulting in the sprouting of several mental health disorders. Nevertheless, VR is emerging as an efficacious solution for such predicaments.

The studies included in the published report showcase that VR interventions effectively combat negative symptoms in such circumstances. Active and passive VR experiences, such as playing an interactive game or watching a movie, proved therapeutic for distressed adolescents. The adolescent participants for the study rated the experience positively, and the attrition rates were on the lower end.

“These preliminary findings suggest VR is a valuable treatment modality for adolescent psychological distress,” said Joshua Kelson, Ph.D. from Charles Sturt University, and coauthors. “However, conclusions on the effectiveness of VR in managing adolescent distress are limited by the lack of high-quality controlled studies and the heterogeneity found in existing ones.”

“As a clinician, I have found adolescents, who have grown up with digital technologies, eager to embrace VR for therapy, training, and education; it seems a natural way of learning and practicing new skill sets. However, as this review aptly notes, there is a critical need for more rigorous studies in this nascent field,” said Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, Ph.D., MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California, and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

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