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Using virtual reality to understand and treat depression

Paltoglou, Aspasia (2017) Using virtual reality to understand and treat depression. Journal of Psychiatry and Behaviour Therapy, 1 (1). pp. 1-4. ISSN 2638-9959


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Depression is a prevalent mental health disorder with serious consequences for the patients’ lives. Virtual Reality (VR) is a promising technology that can immerse individuals in a virtual environment, and has increasingly been used to conduct experiments and deliver interventions with higher ecological validity. One of the studies discussed here showed that individuals with depression score lower in a novel Spatial Memory Navigation task than controls. Two other studies showed some promising results in using VR to deliver interventions for depression to reduce stress and increase self-compassion in depressed individuals. Longitudinal randomized controlled trials are needed to further validate these promising results.

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