Computer scientists usually describe virtual reality (VR) as a set of fancy hardware and software technologies. However, psychology and neuroscience are starting to consider VR as the most advanced form of human-computer interaction allowing individuals to act, communicate and become present in a computer-generated environment. In this view, the feeling of "being there" experienced during a VR experience can become a powerful tool for personal change: it offers a dynamic and social world where individuals can live and share a specific experience. For this reason, the use of VR in mental health shows promise: different researches support its clinical efficacy for conditions including anxiety disorders, stress-related disorders, obesity and eating disorders, pain management, addiction and schizophrenia. However, more research is needed to transform the promises of VR in a real clinical tool for mental health. This Special Issue aims to present the most recent advances in the mental health applications of VR, as well as their implications for future patient care.
- mental health
- virtual reality