Virtual reality

What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality is a modern computerised real-time technology using graphics, sounds and other sensory input, which creates an interactive computer-mediated world. Virtual reality applications have been primarily used for the assessment and treatment of anxieties and phobias. More recently they have been used to examine the perception of emotion and the emotional responses of people with schizophrenia during simulated social encounters, with the aim of improving social skills, cognitive functioning, and treatment adherence.

What is the evidence for virtual reality?

Low quality evidence is unable to determine the benefits of virtual reality training for people with schizophrenia. Review authors report that there is no clear, good quality evidence for or against using virtual reality for treatment adherence and if virtual reality is used, the experimental nature of the intervention should be clearly explained.


June 2016

Telemental health

What is telemental health? 

There is a growing need to deliver low-cost treatments tailored to individual needs and delivered in a continuous way (e.g. all year long) from any location. Telemental health (or “ehealth”) has the potential to meet this need.

Telemental health refers to any mental health treatment that is provided electronically, either by telephone or internet such as online health programs, or video conferencing. This type of intervention involves structured counselling and generally aims to increase medication adherence and prevent relapse. Importantly, it also removes geographic barriers to care.

What is the evidence for telemental interventions?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests small effects of increased quality of life and decreased symptoms with social media interventions, however perceived social support and self-management were reduced.

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests a large effect of increased medication adherence with telemental medication management compared to standard care, pill counting, or early warning signs of relapse checklist. There is a small effect of greater satisfaction with telemental communication compared to standard care, non-web-based communications, or simple provision of information. There are no differences between telemental psychoeducation and conventional psychoeducation for improving knowledge about schizophrenia.

Also see the electronic device use topic.

June 2017