SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Virtual reality-based interventions vs another intervention or usual care for improving physical or mental health or pain
|Outcome||Number of Studies||Effect||Quality of Evidence|
18 out of 25 studes found that virtual reality-based interventions improved physical health
|unclear to high|
|Mental health||16||8 out of 16 studies found that virtual reality-based interventions improved mental health||unclear to high|
|Pain||2||1 out of 2 studies found that virtual reality-based interventions reduced pain||unclear to high|
This was a systematic review of 30 studies published up to September 2022.
Who? This review included 1057 adults (age 67 to 87 years) who were living in long-term care settings (assisted living facilities or nursing homes).
What? The reviewers included studies that compared virtual reality-based interventions with another intervention or usual care for improving physical or mental health or pain.
Virtual Reality-Based Interventions
Another Intervention or Usual Care
Electronic equipment (e.g. computer tablet or special head-mounted display or video game device) used to make a person feel like they are in an artificial environment where they performed physical activities like bowling or boxing or balance games.
In some studies, virtual reality devices were used to improve mental health through aromatherapy, reminiscence therapy, and horticultural therapy.
The frequency of these activities varied from a single time to five times a week over a period of 2 weeks to 6 months.
Exercises and/or balance training without using virtual reality devices.
Memory (reminiscence) therapy using a computer without virtual reality devices.
Virtual reality can make a person feel like they are in an artificial environment. Input devices such as joysticks, handheld controllers or tracking gloves tell a computer what actions the person is performing within the virtual environment. Output devices like headphones, pressure pads, and a head-mounted video display show the person the effect of their actions. Virtual reality may reduce pain by distracting the brain from pain signals, reducing fear of movement (because you have a different "body" in virtual reality), and increasing motivation to perform physical activities or mentally stimulating activities. The reviewers wanted to know if virtual reality-based interventions improve the health of people living in long-term care. They found there is some evidence that virtual reality-based interventions improve health, but more research is needed.
This Evidence Summary is based on the following article:
Li G, Li X, Chen L. Effects of virtual reality-based interventions on the physical and mental health of older residents in long-term care facilities: A systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud. 2022 Dec;136:104378. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2022.104378. Epub 2022 Oct 10. PubMed
Published: Thursday, June 1, 2023
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