“Now i can see me” designing a multi-user virtual reality remote psychotherapy for body weight and shape concerns

Giuseppe Riva, Andrea Gaggioli, Maria Matsangidou, Boris Otkhmezuri, Chee Siang Ang, Marios Avraamides, Despoina Iosif, Maria Karekla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent years have seen a growing research interest towards designing computer-assisted health interventions aiming to improve mental health services. Digital technologies are becoming common methods for diagnosis, therapy, and training. With the advent of lower-cost VR head-mounted-displays (HMDs) and high internet data transfer capacity, there is a new opportunity for applying immersive VR tools to augment existing interventions. This study is among the first to explore the use of a Multi-User Virtual Reality (MUVR) system as a therapeutic medium for participants at high-risk for developing Eating Disorders. This paper demonstrates the positive effect of using MUVR remote psychotherapy to enhance traditional therapeutic practices. The study capitalises on the opportunities which are offered by a MUVR remote psychotherapeutic session to enhance the outcome of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Play Therapy and Exposure Therapy for sufferers with body shape and weight concerns. Moreover, the study presents the design opportunities and challenges of such technology, while strengths on the feasibility, and the positive user acceptability of introducing MUVR to facilitate remote psychotherapy. Finally, the appeal of using VR for remote psychotherapy and its observed positive impact on both therapists and participants is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalHuman-Computer Interaction
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Exposure Therapy
  • Multi-User virtual reality
  • Play Therapy
  • high-risk for eating disorders
  • remote psychotherapy

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