Virtual reality (VR) was found to be effective in the treatment of several specific psychopathologies. However, the effects of VR-based interventions beyond the disorder-specific approach and their ability to improve transdiagnostic factors of mental disorders are unknown. This PRISMA systematic review was conducted using databases PubMed and PsycINFO, searching articles published between 2010 and September 2022. Keywords “emotion regulation”, “cognitive reappraisal”, “avoidance”, “impulsivity”, “aggression”, and “disinhibition” were combined with “virtual reality” to retrieve studies showing the effects of VR-based interventions on these transdiagnostic factors. 29 experimental studies and seven case-studies were selected. A total of 23 considered avoidance, eight dealt with emotion regulation, three concerned aggression, two addressed impulsivity, two dealt with cognitive reappraisal, and none examined disinhibition. Most of the studies included anxiety disorder patients (n = 15), especially with specific phobias (n = 8) and social anxiety disorder (n = 4). VR managed to improve all transdiagnostic factors, with results often maintained at follow-ups (n = 21 studies; range: 1–12 months) and similar to traditional interventions (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy). Exploring the transdiagnostic potential of VR may help to reduce costs and improve applicability in clinical psychology. While results were promising, further studies are needed for aggression, impulsivity and cognitive reappraisal, especially including follow-ups, comparisons with first-line treatments, and understudied clinical populations.

The Effects of Virtual Reality in Targeting Transdiagnostic Factors for Mental Health: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Gardini, Valentina
Primo
;
Gamberini, Giorgia
Secondo
;
Grandi, Silvana
Penultimo
;
Tomba, Elena
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) was found to be effective in the treatment of several specific psychopathologies. However, the effects of VR-based interventions beyond the disorder-specific approach and their ability to improve transdiagnostic factors of mental disorders are unknown. This PRISMA systematic review was conducted using databases PubMed and PsycINFO, searching articles published between 2010 and September 2022. Keywords “emotion regulation”, “cognitive reappraisal”, “avoidance”, “impulsivity”, “aggression”, and “disinhibition” were combined with “virtual reality” to retrieve studies showing the effects of VR-based interventions on these transdiagnostic factors. 29 experimental studies and seven case-studies were selected. A total of 23 considered avoidance, eight dealt with emotion regulation, three concerned aggression, two addressed impulsivity, two dealt with cognitive reappraisal, and none examined disinhibition. Most of the studies included anxiety disorder patients (n = 15), especially with specific phobias (n = 8) and social anxiety disorder (n = 4). VR managed to improve all transdiagnostic factors, with results often maintained at follow-ups (n = 21 studies; range: 1–12 months) and similar to traditional interventions (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy). Exploring the transdiagnostic potential of VR may help to reduce costs and improve applicability in clinical psychology. While results were promising, further studies are needed for aggression, impulsivity and cognitive reappraisal, especially including follow-ups, comparisons with first-line treatments, and understudied clinical populations.
Gardini, Valentina; Gamberini, Giorgia; Müller, Sophia; Grandi, Silvana; Tomba, Elena
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/899856
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