toddcircle

Todd Maddox, PhD

Learning Scientist | Researcher

Hi, I'm Todd Maddox. I've spent over two decades researching and teaching the brain science behind how humans learn. For the last two years I've helped build IKONA's platform using what I've learned in my own lab and in uncovering the power of virtual and augmented reality. This page is meant to be a resource for you — to expand your knowledge of what's possible, what's working and why, and what we still hope to discover.

Overview
Is Clinical Virtual Reality Ready for Primetime?

Objective: Since the mid-1990s, a significant scientific literature has evolved regarding the outcomes from the use of what we now refer to as clinical virtual reality (VR). This use of VR simulation technology has produced encouraging results when applied to address cognitive, psychological, motor, and functional impairments across a wide range of clinical health conditions. This article addresses the question, "Is clinical VR ready for primetime?"

Conclusions: Although there is still much research needed to advance the science in this area, we strongly believe that clinical VR applications will become indispensable tools in the toolbox of psychological researchers and practitioners and will only grow in relevance and popularity in the future.

Find the full report here.

--

Rizzo AS. Keynote Speaker is Clinical Virtual Reality Ready for Primetime? 2018 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR). 2018. doi:10.1109/vr.2018.8446505

Report: Using Extended Reality in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is ripe for embracing immersive learning technologies in training professionals and informing patients.

After a 25-year career as a learning scientist and the last 3 years “immersed” in the private sector, Todd's opinion is that immersive technologies have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of training, to reduce training costs and to enhance patient satisfaction through better care from healthcare professionals and a deeper understanding for patients.

 

This report was originally published in Tech Trends.

--

Maddox T, Bonasio A, Barber T. Report: Using Extended Reality in Healthcare. Tech Trends. https://techtrends.tech/tech-trends/report-using-extended-reality-in-healthcare/. Published September 7, 2018. Accessed April 5, 2019.

Anxiety Reduction
Clinical VR tools to advance the prevention, assessment, and treatment of PTSD

The article presents the use of Virtual Reality (VR) as a clinical tool to address the assessment, prevention, and treatment of PTSD, based on the VR projects that were evolved at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies since 2004.

You can find the full article here.

--

Rizzo A‘S, Shilling R. Clinical Virtual Reality tools to advance the prevention, assessment, and treatment of PTSD. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. 2017;8(sup5):1414560. doi:10.1080/20008198.2017.1414560

VR-based cognitive behavioral therapy for patients with generalized social anxiety disorder

Aims: To assess the feasibility and potential effect of virtual reality-based cognitive behavioral therapy (VR-CBT) for patients with severe generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Conclusions: This uncontrolled pilot study demonstrated the feasibility and treatment potential of VR-CBT in a difficult-to-treat group of patients with generalized SAD. Results suggest that VR-CBT may be effective in reducing anxiety as well as depression, and can increase quality of life.

You can find the full pilot study here.

--

Geraets CN, Veling W, Witlox M, Staring AB, Matthijssen SJ, Cath D. Virtual reality-based cognitive behavioural therapy for patients with generalized social anxiety disorder: a pilot study. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. 2019:1-6. doi:10.1017/s1352465819000225

Can VR reduce fear of spiders?

Findings: Compared to a control group of standard psychoeducation, VR exposure therapy significantly reduced arachnophobia in a randomized trial.

You can find the full study here.

--

Minns S, Levihn-Coon A, Carl E, et al. Immersive 3D exposure-based treatment for spider fear: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. 2018;58:1-7. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.05.006

Patient Satisfaction
Effect of an Immersive Preoperative VR Experience on Patient Reported Outcomes

Objective: To investigate the effect of exposure to a virtual reality (VR) environment preoperatively on patient-reported outcomes for surgical operations.

Conclusions: In a randomized controlled trial, the research team demonstrated that patients exposed to preoperative VR had increased satisfaction during the surgical encounter. Harnessing the power of this technology, hospitals can create an immersive environment that minimizes stress, and enhances the perioperative experience.

You can find the full report here.

--

Bekelis K, Calnan D, Simmons N, Mackenzie TA, Kakoulides G. Effect of an Immersive Preoperative Virtual Reality Experience on Patient Reported Outcomes. Annals of Surgery. 2017;265(6):1068-1073.

Using mobile VR to enhance medical comprehension and satisfaction in patients and their families

 Abstract: Patients are typically debriefed by their healthcare provider after any medical procedure or surgery to discuss their findings and any next steps involving medication or treatment instructions. However, without any medical or scientific background knowledge, it can feel overwhelming and esoteric for a patient to listen to a physician describe a complex operation. Instead, providing patients with engaging visuals and a virtual reality (VR) simulation of their individual clinical findings could lead to more effective transfer of medical knowledge and comprehension of treatment information. A newly developed VR technology is described, called HealthVoyager, which is designed to help facilitate this knowledge transfer between physicians and patients. The platform represents a customizable, VR software system utilizing a smartphone or tablet computer to portray personalized surgical or procedural findings as well as representations of normal anatomy. The use of such technology for eliciting medical understanding and patient satisfaction can have many practical and clinical applications for a variety of disease states and patient populations.

Find the full report here.

--

Palanica A, Docktor MJ, Lee A, Fossat Y. Using mobile virtual reality to enhance medical comprehension and satisfaction in patients and their families. Perspectives on Medical Education. 2019. doi:10.1007/s40037-019-0504-7

Brain Science of Satisfaction and Why VR Provides an Ideal Solution

Familiarity and experience can reduce stress, anxiety, and discomfort while enhancing preparedness and satisfaction for patients and their loved ones. 

Virtual reality achieves these goals; the psychological and brain research are clear on that point.

Read the full article here.

--

This article was originally published by the Association for Talent Development.

--

Maddox T, Fitzpatrick T. The Brain Science of Patient Satisfaction and Why VR Provides an Ideal Solution. Main. https://www.td.org/insights/the-brain-science-of-patient-satisfaction-and-why-vr-provides-an-ideal-solution. Published December 19, 2018. Accessed April 5, 2019.

Patient Education
Virtual Reality Simulation in Peritoneal Dialysis Training

Background/Aim: Peritonitis rates in peritoneal dialysis (PD) vary considerably not only across countries but also between centers in the same country. Patient education has been shown to significantly reduce infection rates but up till now training lacks standardization with patients being trained using different methods and media (e.g., illustrations, videos). As a result, patients may be insufficiently experienced in performing PD, which might be one of the causes for high peritonitis rates. To address these issues, we developed a PD training program based on virtual reality (VR).

Conclusion: Previous studies on the effectiveness of learning showed that VR training applications are superior to traditional methods, such as text- or video-based training. However, no study has been undertaken in the context of dialysis. We believe that the implementation of VR training programs in clinical practice will be beneficial in improving the patient's proficiency, and thereby the quality and safety of PD.

Find the full report here.

--

Zgoura P, Hettich D, Natzel J, Özcan F, Kantzow B. Virtual Reality Simulation in Peritoneal Dialysis Training: The Beginning of a New Era. Blood Purification. 2018;47(1-3):265-269. doi:10.1159/000494595

The Role of Personalized Virtual Reality in Education for Patients Post Stroke

Background/Aim: Education is essential to promote prevention of recurrent stroke and maximize rehabilitation; however, current techniques are limited and many patients remain dissatisfied. Virtual reality (VR) may provide an alternative way of conveying complex information through a more universal language. To develop and conduct preliminary assessments on the use of a guided and personalized 3D visualization education session via VR, for stroke survivors and primary caregivers.

Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest this approach provides a safe and promising educational tool to promote understanding of individualized stroke experiences.

Find the full report here.

--

Thompson-Butel AG, Shiner CT, Mcghee J, et al. The Role of Personalized Virtual Reality in Education for Patients Post Stroke—A Qualitative Case Series. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases. 2019;28(2):450-457. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.10.018

Radiation therapy patient education using VERT: combination of technology with human care

Abstract: The Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system is a recently available tool for radiation therapy education. The majority of research regarding VERT-based education is focused on students, with a growing area of research being VERT's role in patient education. Because large differences in educational requirements exist between students and patients, focused resources and subsequent evaluations are necessary to provide solid justification for the unique benefits and challenges posed by VERT in a patient education context. This commentary article examines VERT's role in patient education, with a focus on salient visual features, VERT's ability to address some of the spatial challenges associated with RT patient education and how to combine technology with human care.

Find the full report here.

--

Jimenez YA, Lewis SJ. Radiation therapy patient education using VERT: combination of technology with human care. Journal of Medical Radiation Sciences. 2018;65(2):158-162. doi:10.1002/jmrs.282

Patient education using VR increases knowledge and positive experience for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy

 

Purpose: Improved access to technology in the radiation therapy (RT) workforce education has resulted in opportunities for innovative patient education methods. This study investigated the impact of a newly developed education tool using the Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training (VERT) system on patients' RT knowledge and anxiety.

Conclusions: This study reports the high value of VERT breast cancer-targeted education programs in improving RT knowledge and perhaps decreasing patient anxiety. Continued efforts are required to improve patients' accessibility to VERT in Australia, and to better understand the effect of VERT's unique educational features on patients' emotional and physical needs throughout their RT.

Find the full report here.

--

Jimenez YA, Cumming S, Wang W, Stuart K, Thwaites DI, Lewis SJ. Patient education using virtual reality increases knowledge and positive experience for breast cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2018;26(8):2879-2888. doi:10.1007/s00520-018-4114-4

Professional Training
Clinical Virtual Simulation in Nursing Education: Randomized Controlled Trial

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of clinical virtual simulation with regard to knowledge retention, clinical reasoning, self-efficacy, and satisfaction with the learning experience among nursing students.

Conclusions: The introduction of clinical virtual simulation in nursing education has the potential to improve knowledge retention and clinical reasoning in an initial stage and over time, and it increases the satisfaction with the learning experience among nursing students.

You can find the full study here.

--

Padilha JM, Machado PP, Ribeiro A, Ramos J, Costa P. Clinical Virtual Simulation in Nursing Education: Randomized Controlled Trial (Preprint). 2018. doi:10.2196/preprints.11529

Digital Education for the Management of Chronic Wounds in Healthcare Professionals

Objective: Our main objective is to assess the effectiveness of digital education as a stand-alone approach or as part of a blended-learning approach in improving pre- and postregistration health care professionals' knowledge, attitudes, practical skills, and behavior in the management of chronic wounds, as well as their satisfaction with the intervention. Secondary objectives are to evaluate patient-related outcomes, cost-effectiveness of the interventions, and any unfavorable or undesirable outcomes that may arise.

Conclusions: This systematic review will provide an in-depth analysis of digital education strategies to train health care providers in the management of chronic wounds. We consider this topic particularly relevant given the current challenges facing health care systems worldwide, including shortages of skilled personnel and a steep increase in the population of older adults as a result of a prolonged life expectancy.

Find the full report here.

--

Martinengo L, Yeo NJY, Tang ZQ, Markandran KD, Kyaw BM, Car LT. Digital Education for the Management of Chronic Wounds in Health Care Professionals: Protocol for a Systematic Review by the Digital Health Education Collaboration. JMIR Research Protocols. 2019;8(3). doi:10.2196/12488

Virtual Reality for Health Professions Education: Systematic Review

Objectives: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of VR for educating health professionals and improving their knowledge, cognitive skills, attitudes, and satisfaction.

Conclusions: We found evidence suggesting that VR improves post-intervention knowledge and skills outcomes of health professionals when compared with traditional education or other types of digital education such as online or offline digital education. The findings on other outcomes are limited. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of immersive and interactive forms of VR and evaluate other outcomes such as attitude, satisfaction, cost-effectiveness, and clinical practice or behavior change.

Find the full report here.

--

Dunleavy G, Nikolaou CK, Nifakos S, Atun R, Law GCY, Car LT. Mobile Digital Education for Health Professions: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by the Digital Health Education Collaboration. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2019;21(2). doi:10.2196/12937

Report: Building Healthcare Expertise With Virtual Reality

Q. Can immersive technologies help professionals in the healthcare sector build crucial expertise and save lives?

A. Yes, it certainly can — and it already is!

 

This report was originally published in Tech Trends.

--

Maddox T, Bonasio A. Report: Building Healthcare Expertise With VR. Tech Trends. https://techtrends.tech/virtual-reality/report-building-healthcare-expertise-with-vr/. Published January 4, 2019. Accessed April 4, 2019.

How xR Technologies Will Accelerate Healthcare Training

Immersive learning technologies are growing, and one sector embracing them is healthcare training. Immersive learning tools uniquely engage learning systems in the brain that are highly effective for many forms of training, especially training related to healthcare. These technologies have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of training, reduce training costs, and enhance patient satisfaction through better care from healthcare professionals and a deeper understanding for patients.

Read the full article here.

--

This article was originally published by the Association for Talent Development.

--

Maddox T. How xR Technologies Will Accelerate Healthcare Training. Main. https://www.td.org/insights/how-xr-technologies-will-accelerate-healthcare-training. Published September 19, 2018. Accessed April 5, 2019.

Emotion & Mood
The ENGAGE study: managing depression and obesity in a precision medicine model

Abstract: Precision medicine models for personalizing achieving sustained behavior changeare largely outside of current clinical practice. Yet, changing self-regulatory behaviors is fundamental to the self-management of complex lifestyle-related chronic conditions such as depression and obesity - two top contributors to the global burden of disease and disability. To optimize treatments and address these burdens, behavior change and self-regulation must be better understood in relation to their neurobiological underpinnings. Here, we present the conceptual framework and protocol for a novel study, “Engaging self-regulation targets to understand the mechanisms of behavior change and improve mood and weight outcomes (ENGAGE)”. The ENGAGE study integrates neuroscience with behavioral science to better understand the self-regulation related mechanisms of behavior change for improving mood and weight outcomes among adults with comorbid depression and obesity. We collect assays of three self-regulation targets (emotion, cognition, and self-reflection) in multiple settings: neuroimaging and behavioral lab-based measures, virtual reality, and passive smartphone sampling. By connecting human neuroscience and behavioral science in this manner within the ENGAGE study, we develop a prototype for elucidating the underlying self-regulation mechanisms of behavior change outcomes and their application in optimizing intervention strategies for multiple chronic diseases.

You can access the ENGAGE here.

--

Williams LM, Pines A, Goldstein-Piekarski AN, et al. The ENGAGE study: Integrating neuroimaging, virtual reality and smartphone sensing to understand self-regulation for managing depression and obesity in a precision medicine model. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 2018;101:58-70. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2017.09.012

A Public Database of Immersive VR Videos with Corresponding Ratings of Arousal, Valence, and Correlations between Head Movements and Self Report Measures

Virtual reality (VR) has been proposed as a methodological tool to study the basic science of psychology and other fields. One key advantage of VR is that sharing of virtual content can lead to more robust replication and representative sampling. A database of standardized content will help fulfill this vision. There are two objectives to this study. First, we seek to establish and allow public access to a database of immersive VR video clips that can act as a potential resource for studies on emotion induction using virtual reality. Second, given the large sample size of participants needed to get reliable valence and arousal ratings for our video, we were able to explore the possible links between the head movements of the observer and the emotions he or she feels while viewing immersive VR. To accomplish our goals, we sourced for and tested 73 immersive VR clips which participants rated on valence and arousal dimensions using self-assessment manikins. We also tracked participants' rotational head movements as they watched the clips, allowing us to correlate head movements and affect. Based on past research, we predicted relationships between the standard deviation of head yaw and valence and arousal ratings. Results showed that the stimuli varied reasonably well along the dimensions of valence and arousal, with a slight underrepresentation of clips that are of negative valence and highly arousing. The standard deviation of yaw positively correlated with valence, while a significant positive relationship was found between head pitch and arousal. The immersive VR clips tested are available online as supplemental material.

You can find the full study here.

--

Li BJ, Bailenson JN, Pines A, Greenleaf WJ, Williams LM. A Public Database of Immersive VR Videos with Corresponding Ratings of Arousal, Valence, and Correlations between Head Movements and Self Report Measures. Frontiers in Psychology. 2017;8. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02116

Actionable Empathy
Building long-term empathy: a large-scale comparison of traditional and virtual reality perspective taking

Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) has been increasingly referred to as the “ultimate empathy machine” since it allows users to experience any situation from any point of view. However, empirical evidence supporting the claim that VR is a more effective method of eliciting empathy than traditional perspective-taking is limited. Two experiments were conducted in order to compare the short and long-term effects of a traditional perspective-taking task and a VR perspective-taking task (Study 1), and to explore the role of technological immersion when it comes to different types of mediated perspective-taking tasks (Study 2).

You can read the full study here.

--

Herrera F, Bailenson J, Weisz E, Ogle E, Zaki J (2018) Building long-term empathy: A largescale comparison of traditional and virtual reality perspective-taking. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0204494. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204494

VR perspective-taking increases cognitive empathy for specific others

Abstract: Previous research shows that virtual reality perspective-taking experiences (VRPT) can increase prosocial behavior toward others. We extend this research by exploring whether this effect of VRPT is driven by increased empathy and whether the effect extends to ostensibly real-stakes behavioral games. 

You can find the full study here.

--

van Loon A, Bailenson J, Zaki J, Bostick J, Willer R (2018) Virtual reality perspective-taking increases cognitive empathy for specific others. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0202442. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0202442

Learning Empathy Through Virtual Reality: Multiple Strategies for Training Empathy-Related Abilities Using Body Ownership Illusions in Embodied Virtual Reality

Several disciplines have investigated the interconnected empathic abilities behind the proverb “to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” to determine how the presence, and absence, of empathy-related phenomena affect prosocial behavior and intergroup relations. Empathy enables us to learn from others’ pain and to know when to offer support. Similarly, virtual reality (VR) appears to allow individuals to step into someone else’s shoes, through a perceptual illusion called embodiment, or the body ownership illusion. Considering these perspectives, we propose a theoretical analysis of different mechanisms of empathic practices in order to define a possible framework for the design of empathic training in VR. This is not intended to be an extensive review of all types of practices, but an exploration of empathy and empathy-related phenomena. Empathy-related training practices are analyzed and categorized. We also identify different variables used by pioneer studies in VR to promote empathy-related responses. Finally, we propose strategies for using embodied VR technology to train specific empathy-related abilities.

 

Find the full report here.

--

Bertrand P, Guegan J, Robieux L, Mccall CA, Zenasni F. Learning Empathy Through Virtual Reality: Multiple Strategies for Training Empathy-Related Abilities Using Body Ownership Illusions in Embodied Virtual Reality. Frontiers in Robotics and AI. 2018;5. doi:10.3389/frobt.2018.00026

VR vs Traditional Learning
Virtual Memory Palaces: Immersion Aids Recall

Abstract: Virtual reality displays, such as head-mounted displays (HMD), aford us a superior spatial awareness by leveraging our vestibular and proprioceptive senses, as compared to traditional desktop displays. Since classical times, people have used memory palaces as a spatial mnemonic to help remember information by organizing it spatially and associating it with salient features in that environment. In this paper, we explore whether using virtual memory palaces in a head-mounted display with head-tracking (HMD condition) would allow a user to better recall information than when using a traditional desktop display with a mouse-based interaction (desktop condition). We found that virtual memory palaces in HMD condition provide a superior memory recall ability compared to the desktop condition. We believe this is a first step in using virtual environments for creating more memorable experiences that enhance productivity through better recall of large amounts of information organized using the idea of virtual memory palaces.

Find the full report here.

--

Krokos E, Plaisant C, Varshney A. Correction to: Virtual memory palaces: immersion aids recall. Virtual Reality. 2018;23(1):17-17. doi:10.1007/s10055-018-0360-5

A Case Study - The Impact of VR on Academic Performance

Objectives: This experiment aims to show the difference between traditional teaching and VR-based teaching in students’ celestial physics learning. 

Results:In Retention Test, the average score of VR group is 90, while that of the traditional teaching group is 68. The gap between the two average scores is 32.4%, higher than that in the Immediate Test 27.4% (# 4.1.1-1), suggesting that knowledge taught in traditional mode is more inclined to be forgotten, while VR-based teaching could help students get a deeper impression and maintain long-term memory because it creates a quasi-real environment, interacts with students and make students more involved in the teaching.

VR-based teaching enjoys tremendously positive reception among students. Students like it very much and students fairly like it account for 100% of all the students. In the experiment, 65% students have heard about VR, 45% students have 15 experienced VR content, most of which is VR games. This is the first time for these students to experience VR in education. The introduction of the latest VR Technology into education is very fascinating to students, who are looking forward to seeing VR-based teaching integrated in their classes.

Find the full report here

 --

A Case Study - The Impact of VR on Academic Performance. https://cdn.uploadvr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/A-Case-Study-The-Impact-of-VR-on-Academic-Performance_20161125.pdf. Accessed April 4, 2019.

Training Situational Awareness With Virtual Reality

VR provides the ideal training tool for gaining the emotional intelligence and cognitive behavioral understanding needed to develop situational awareness.

Situational awareness involves understanding how information, events and actions around us impact our current situation and how changes might impact the future. While it is important in all settings, it is especially critical in high stakes, rapidly-changing environments such as healthcare, law enforcement, leadership, air traffic control, ship navigation, and nuclear power plant operation (to name but a few) where a bad decision could have serious or dangerous consequences.

This article originally appeared in Tech Trends.

--

Maddox T, Atkinson T, Bonasio A. Training Situational Awareness With Virtual Reality. Tech Trends. https://techtrends.tech/uncategorized/training-situational-awareness-with-virtual-reality/. Published July 23, 2018. Accessed April 5, 2019.

Healthcare Simulation
VR in Healthcare: Medical Simulation and Experiential Interface

Abstract: Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine (ARCTT) ISSN: 1554-8716 is published annually by the Interactive Media Institute (IMI), a 501c3 non-profit organisation, dedicated to the collaboration of interdisciplinary researchers from around the world to create, test and develop clinical tools and protocols for the medical and psychological community. IMI realizes that the mind and body work in concert to affect quality of life in individuals and works to develop technology that can be effectively used to improve the standards and reduce the cost of healthcare delivery worldwide.

You can download the full PDF here.

--

Wiederhold, Brenda & Riva, Giuseppe & Wiederhold, Mark. (2015). Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine: Virtual Reality in Healthcare: Medical Simulation and Experiential Interface. 

Pain Reduction
Virtual Reality Analgesia in Labor: The VRAIL Pilot Study

Findings: Compared to a standard control group, VR reduced sensory pain, affective pain, cognitive pain, and anxiety during childbirth.

You can find the full report here.

--

Frey DP, Bauer ME, Bell CL, et al. Virtual Reality Analgesia in Labor. Anesthesia & Analgesia. 2018:1. doi:10.1213/ane.0000000000003649

Assessing the feasibility of implementing low-cost virtual reality therapy during routine burn care

Abstract: Burn care often involves procedures that result in significant pain experiences for patients which, in turn, can lead to poorer physical and psychological health outcomes. Distraction and virtual reality (VR) are an effective adjunct to pharmacological interventions in reducing pain. Much of the research that has demonstrated efficacy for VR in burn care has involved expensive and extensive technology. Thus, identifying cost-effective, feasible, acceptable, and effective approaches to apply distraction within routine burn care is important. The objective of this mixed-methods study was to evaluate key stakeholder (i.e., patients, providers) perceptions of feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness for the use of low-cost VR technology during routine burn care with adult patients. Ten adult patients used VR during burn care dressing changes in an outpatient clinic setting, after which they completed a satisfaction survey and individual qualitative interview. Providers also completed a satisfaction/perception survey after each participant's care. Quantitative and qualitative results from both patient and provider perspectives consistently supported the feasibility and utility of applying low-cost VR technology in this outpatient burn clinic setting. Special considerations (e.g., aspects to consider when choosing an apparatus or application) stemming from stakeholder feedback are discussed.

Find the full report here.

--

Ford CG, Manegold EM, Randall CL, Aballay AM, Duncan CL. Assessing the feasibility of implementing low-cost virtual reality therapy during routine burn care. Burns. 2018;44(4):886-895. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2017.11.020

Adjunctive VR for procedural pain management of burn patients during dressing change or physical therapy

Abstract: Dressing change and physical therapy are extremely painful procedures for burn patients. Adjunctive virtual reality therapy reportedly reduces pain when added to analgesics, but a summary analysis of the data has yet to be performed. We conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to verify the pain-reducing efficacy of virtual reality among burn patients undergoing dressing change or physical therapy. We searched MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE (via OVID), and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (via OVID) for relevant trials based on predetermined eligibility criteria from database establishment to February 2018. Two reviewers screened citations and extracted data independently. The quality of the included studies was evaluated according to the Cochrane Handbook, whereas statistical heterogeneity was assessed using chi-square tests and I2 statistics. Review Manager 5.3 was used for statistical analysis. Thirteen randomized controlled trials with 362 patients who underwent 627 burn dressing change or physical therapy sessions were included. The additional use of virtual reality significantly reduced pain intensity, time spent thinking about pain, and unpleasantness, and was more fun compared with that of using analgesics alone. Virtual reality is an effective pain reduction measurement added to analgesics for burn patients undergoing dressing change or physical therapy. However, multicenter, parallel group design randomized controlled trials are still required.

Find the full report here.

--

Luo H, Cao C, Zhong J, Chen J, Cen Y. Adjunctive virtual reality for procedural pain management of burn patients during dressing change or physical therapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Wound Repair and Regeneration. 2018;27(1):90-101. doi:10.1111/wrr.1

Virtual Reality for Management of Pain in Hospitalized Patients

Objective: The objective of the study was to measure the impact of a onetime 3D VR intervention versus a two-dimensional (2D) distraction video for pain in hospitalized patients.

Conclusions: Use of VR in hospitalized patients significantly reduces pain versus a control distraction condition. These results indicate that VR is an effective and safe adjunctive therapy for pain management in the acute inpatient setting; future randomized trials should confirm benefit with different visualizations and exposure periods.

Find the full report here.

--

Tashjian VC, Mosadeghi S, Reid MW, Howard A, Lopez M, Spiegel B. Virtual Reality Reduces Abdominal Pain in Hospitalized Patients: Results of a Controlled Trial. Gastroenterology. 2017;152(5). doi:10.1016/s0016-5085(17)30727-8

Aging
Effectiveness of a VR-Based Tai Chi Exercise on Cognitive and Physical Function in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment

Findings: Compared to a standard control group, a six-month VR Thai Chi program improved multiple assessments of physical function and cognitive performance.

 

Study link can be found here.

--

Hsieh C-C, Lin P-S, Hsu W-C, et al. The Effectiveness of a Virtual Reality-Based Tai Chi Exercise on Cognitive and Physical Function in Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders. 2018;46(5-6):358-370.

The feasibility and positive effects of a customized video game rehabilitation program for freezing of gait and falls in Parkinson's disease patients

Background: Freezing of gait and falls represent a major burden in patients with advanced forms of Parkinson's disease (PD). These axial motor signs are not fully alleviated by drug treatment or deep-brain stimulation. Recently, virtual reality has emerged as a rehabilitation option for these patients. In this pilot study, we aim to determine the feasibility and acceptability of rehabilitation with a customized video game to treat gait and balance disorders in PD patients, and assess its effects on these disabling motor signs.

Conclusions: This study suggests that rehabilitation with a customized video game to treat gait and balance disorders is feasible, well accepted, and effective in Parkinson's patients. These data serve as preliminary evidence for further larger and controlled studies to propose this customized video game rehabilitation program at home.

Find the full report here.

--

Nuic D, Vinti M, Karachi C, Foulon P, Hamme AV, Welter M-L. The feasibility and positive effects of a customised videogame rehabilitation programme for freezing of gait and falls in Parkinson’s disease patients: a pilot study. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation. 2018;15(1). doi:10.1186/s12984-018-0375-x

How Virtual Reality Training Supports Safer Aging

This post is the first installment in a series of blog posts that will cover how virtual reality is being used to change the aging experience for older adults, loved ones and families, and their caregivers in the years ahead.

In fact, virtual reality is already having a tremendous impact on the lives of seniors. This is in large part thanks to outstanding content and applications geared towards combating social isolation by forming connections through travel and therapeutics, for example.

We will continue to focus on the role that training plays in preparing caregivers for what's next. Professional staff and family caregivers alike, the benefits of high-quality training cannot be overstated.

Stay tuned to our blog for more updates as we explore these issues and work towards building a solution to meet the growing demands of our population.

 

 

Using Immersive Technologies with Children and Older Adult Patients

Human development and normal aging have fascinating effects on the prefrontal cortex – the region of the brain associated with working memory and executive attention.

The prefrontal cortex is slow to develop in humans, not reaching full capacity until an individual is in their mid-20s. In addition, prefrontal cortical function declines with normal aging, in many cases starting in middle age. This means that children and older adults are generally going to be less effective learners when content is presented in text or slideshow format, leading to an increase in errors and serious medical consequences in these populations.

 This report was originally published in Tech Trends.

--

Maddox T, Bonasio A, Barber T. Using Immersive Technologies with Children and Older Adult Patients. Tech Trends. https://techtrends.tech/tech-trends/immersive-technologies-helping-children-and-older-patients/. Published June 17, 2018. Accessed April 5, 2019.

Rehabilitation
The application of VR technology in rehabilitation

Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology with a variety of potential benefits for many aspects of rehabilitation assessment, treatment, and research. Through its capacity to allow the creation and control of dynamic 3-dimensional, ecologically valid stimulus environments within which behavioral responding can be recorded and measured, VR offers clinical assessment and rehabilitation options that are not available with traditional methods. Initial applications of VR in other aspects of medicine and psychology have yielded encouraging results, but continued research and understanding of this evolving technology will be crucial for its effective integration into rehabilitation. This article provides a brief introduction to VR technology, examines the specific benefits VR offers consumers and providers of rehabilitation services and discusses potential areas of application and important considerations in applying this technology. Finally, 2 examples of current VR applications are presented

You can find the full study here.

--

Schultheis, Maria & Rizzo, Albert. (2001). The application of virtual reality technology in rehabilitation. Rehabilitation Psychology. 46. 296-311. 10.1037/0090-5550.46.3.296. 

VR exercise on a home-based phase III cardiac rehabilitation program

 

Purpose: To analyse the effect of a six-month home-based phase III cardiac rehabilitation (CR) specific exercise program, performed in a virtual reality (Kinect) or conventional (booklet) environment, on executive function, quality of life and depression, anxiety and stress of subjects with coronary artery disease.

Conclusions: The virtual reality format had improved selective attention and conflict resolution ability, revealing the potential of CR, specifically with virtual reality exercise, on executive function. Implications for Rehabilitation In cardiac rehabilitation, especially in phase III, it is important to develop and to present alternative strategies, as virtual reality using the Kinect in a home context. Taking into account the relationship between the improvement of the executive function with physical exercise, it is relevant to access the impact of a cardiac rehabilitation program on the executive function. Enhancing the value of the phase III of cardiac rehabilitation.

Find the full report here.

--

Vieira Á, Melo C, Machado J, Gabriel J. Virtual reality exercise on a home-based phase III cardiac rehabilitation program, effect on executive function, quality of life and depression, anxiety and stress: a randomized controlled trial. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2017;13(2):112-123. doi:10.1080/17483107.2017.1297858

Is there anything else you've seen that you'd like us to include? Let us know!
canva-photo-editor (42)

Tim Fitzpatrick

Co-founder & CEO

Hi there! Thanks for taking the time to read through our research page. The results you see here are just a fraction of the mounting evidence that supports VR's growing role in healthcare. I'd like to thank all those clinicians and researchers who continue to push the envelope in the name of improving patient care. And I especially want to thank YOU for your support — it's why we're here.

Contact us