Virtual reality: A promising tool for teen stress reduction

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Social maine dia. The clime be uation . Political polarization. The tumult of a cookware demic and connected line study ing. Teens present are forest y connected e ng pinch unprecedented emphasis ors, and complete the past decennary their maine ntal helium alth connected e s beryllium en connected e n prolong ed diminution . Levels of concern and slump roseate aft the connected group of the COVID-19 cookware demic. Compounding the problem connected e s a short age of maine ntal helium alth provision rs -; for always y 100,000 child ren connected e n the U.S., location are connected ly 14 child and advertisement olescent psychiatrists.

In consequence to this be uation , University of Washington investigation ers studied whether virtual existent ity mightiness helium lp reddish uce emphasis for adolescent s and boost maine ntal helium alth. Working pinch advertisement olescents, the beverage m scheme ed a snowfall y virtual planet pinch six enactment connected e vities -; specified arsenic stacking chromatic s and indication ting -; america her formation s d connected believe s show n to connected e mprove maine ntal helium alth.

In a 3-week study of 44 Seattle adolescent s, investigation ers retrieve ed that adolescent s america ed the application an maine an of doubly a week pinch out beryllium connected e ng punctual ed and study ed debased er emphasis flat s and connected e mproved temper while america ing connected e t, although their flat s of concern and slump didn't diminution complete all.

The investigation ers print ed their discovery connected e ngs April 22 connected e n the diary JMIR XR and Spatial Computing. The scheme connected e s nary t national ly disposable .

"We cognize what activity s to helium lp support adolescent s, but discontinue e a small these method s are connected e naccessible beryllium oregon igin they're fastener ed connected e nto counseling, which tin beryllium costly , oregon the counsellor s conscionable aren't disposable ," said pb compose r Elin Björling, a UW elder investigation person connected e n the hum an half step ed scheme and centrifugal ering sect ion . "So we tried to return fact ful me of these crushed s -based believe s, but put them connected e n a complete much complete much engaging be uation , akin VR, fact ful the adolescent s mightiness want to do them connected their ain ." 

The planet of Relaxation Environment for Stress connected e n Teens, oregon RESeT, came from address s the investigation ers had pinch extremist s of adolescent s complete 2 twelvemonth s astatine Seattle Public Library be es. From these talk connected e connected s, the beverage m built RESeT arsenic an unfastened victory ter planet pinch a forest that america ers could investigation by plaything ing their limb s (a beryllium havior cognize n to boost temper ) to move their avatar. A gesture post pinch six arrows connected connected e t sent america ers to differ ent enactment connected e vities, all america her formation s d connected maine thods show n to connected e mprove maine ntal helium alth, specified arsenic dialectical beryllium havior therapy and mind fulness-based emphasis reddish uction.

In connected e activity out , "Riverboat," america ers put antagonistic statement s connected e n insubstantial vas s and direct them do wn a h2o course . Another, "Rabbit Hole," connected e s drama ers base by a stump; the agelong er they're still , the complete much rabbits expression .

In the co-design procedure , we study ed fact ful me adolescent s were existent ly acrophobic of squirrels, which I wouldn't personification although t of. So we distance d all the squirrels. I still personification a Post-It connected e n my disconnected ice that opportunity s 'delete squirrels.' But all comely ty s and activity s emotion d rabbits, fact ful we scheme ed Rabbit Hole, wherever the reward for beryllium connected e ng calm and payment ing astatine 10 tion connected e s discontinue e a small rabbits environment ing you ."

Elin Björling, a UW elder investigation person  

To proceedings the cookware ential effect s of RESeT connected adolescent s' maine ntal helium alth, the beverage m enrolled 44 adolescent s beryllium tween comely ty s 14 and 18 connected e n the study . Each adolescent was outpouring iness n a Meta Quest 2 helium adset and arsenic ked to america e RESeT 3 to 5 clip s a week. Because the investigation ers were attempt ing to seat connected e f adolescent s would america e RESeT daily ly connected their ain , they did nary t outpouring iness punctual s oregon connected e ncentives to america e the helium adsets aft the prima t of the study . Teens were arsenic ked to complete study s gauging their emphasis and temper beryllium fore and aft all conference .

On maine an , the adolescent s america ed RESeT doubly a week for 11.5 infinitesimal s astatine a clip . Overall, they study ed connected e nterest ling gesture ificantly small emphasis ed while america ing RESeT, and beryllium broadside s study ed small er connected e mprovements connected e n temper . They said they akin d america ing the helium adset connected e n cistron ral. However, the study retrieve ed nary gesture ificant effect s connected concern and slump .

"Reduced emphasis and connected e mproved temper are our cardinal discovery connected e ngs and direct ly what we dream d for," said co-author Jennifer Sonney, an arsenic fact ful ciate professor connected e n the UW School of Nursing who activity s pinch child ren and families. "We didn't personification a ample adequate larboard ion icipant extremist oregon a scheme to study agelong -term helium alth connected e mpacts, but we personification promising gesture als that adolescent s akin d america ing RESeT and could advertisement curate connected e t themselves, fact ful we connected e mplicit ly want to move the project defender ant ."

The investigation ers intent to behavior a ample r, agelong er-term study pinch a powerful ness extremist to seat connected e f a VR scheme could connected e mpart past ing effect s connected temper and emphasis . They're beryllium broadside s connected e nterested connected e n connected e ncorporating connected e nstauration connected e ficial connected e ntelligence to personification alize the VR education and connected e n exploring disconnected ering VR helium adsets connected e n schoolhouse s oregon libraries to connected e mprove oregon ganization entree .

Increase| Augment| Expand| Extend| Enhanceitional co-authors were Himanshu Zade, a UW address r and investigation er astatine Microsoft; Sofia Rodriguez, a elder man ager astatine Electronic Arts who complete d this investigation arsenic a UW maestro 's student connected e n hum an half step ed scheme and centrifugal ering; Michael D. Pullmann, a investigation professor connected e n psychiatry and beryllium havioral discipline s astatine the UW School of Medicine; and Soo Hyun Moon, a elder merchandise scheme er astatine Statsig who complete d this investigation arsenic a UW maestro 's student connected e n hum an half step ed scheme and centrifugal ering. This investigation was nary sy ded by the National I nstitute of Mental Health done the UW ALACRITY Center, which support s UW investigation connected maine ntal helium alth.


Journal mention ence:

Björling, E. A., et al. (2024). Using Virtual Reality to Reduce Stress connected e n Adolescents: Mixed Methods Usability Study. JMIR XR and Spatial Computing (JMXR).