Healthy avatars, healthy people: Care engagement through the shared experience of virtual worlds

Stefano Triberti, Alice Chirico

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Recent literature shows that new technologies can be used to promote patient engagement. The present contribution focuses on Virtual Worlds (VWs), namely virtual environments that multiple users can experience together thanks to the use of avatars. Indeed, VWs offer interesting opportunities for patient engagement interventions on two levels. On the individual level, customized avatars are known to have relationships with users' inner experience and Self-conception, so that they may constitute a peculiar additional tool for psychological assessment. Moreover, they are able to promote healthy behaviors thanks to a strong vicarious reinforcement (Proteus effect). On the collective level, VWs constitute an ideal platform to support the emergence of collective flow states (Networked Flow) which are related to the patients' creative activity and well-being. The present contribution deepens these phenomena, presenting VWs as an innovative and interesting tool for the patient engagement interventions of the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVirtual and Augmented Reality: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Pages1451-1472
Number of pages22
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • avatar
  • virtual reality

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