Can Virtual Reality Ever Be Implemented in Routine Clinical Settings?– A technical interface called virtual reality (VR) enables people to interact with computer-generated environments in a safe environment. In clinical research as well as the setting of mental health therapy, this technology has become more prevalent.

This article’s main goal is to review the literature on the use of virtual reality (VR) in psychiatric treatment, with a focus on anxiety disorders in particular. VR is especially well-suited for use in exposure-based treatment for anxiety disorders because it allows for a sense of present time and immersion in the feared environment.

There will be a discussion of the potential benefits and drawbacks of using virtual reality in psychiatric research and therapy, as well as some helpful suggestions for doing so.

Virtual Reality Technology Within Clinical Settings

Implications of VR in Clinical environments:

Can Virtual Reality Ever Be Implemented in Routine Clinical Settings?

Meditation:

Virtual reality in meditation By submerging users in a distraction-free and relaxing virtual world, virtual reality (VR) technology may aid in the practice of meditation. Today, a variety of illnesses and ailments, such as pain, depression, anxiety disorders, sleep problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, and pressure, have been treated with VR and meditation treatment.

Clinical investigations have confirmed the use of VR as a meditation practice facilitator in patients with acute pain, chronic pain, opioid tolerance, or opioid use disorder.

Additional neurobiological investigations revealed that following each intervention session, ratings for pain, opioid desire, anxiety, and depression were reduced (relative to before the session).

Hypnosis:

Hypnosis is described as “a state of consciousness with concentrated concentration and diminished peripheral awareness distinguished by an improved ability for reaction to suggestion”. The ability of hypnosis to treat a variety of clinical disorders, including the alleviation of pain, has been demonstrated. However, it is generally acknowledged that hypnotizability varies from person to person, therefore not everyone can hypnotize themselves.

The potential for synergy between these VR and hypnosis, however, is noteworthy for a number of reasons given that attention mechanisms serve as a common denominator. First, hypnotic suggestions may encourage a nervous or constrained patient to unwind and lose themselves in a computerized environment. Additionally, the depth of a patient’s sensation of presence in the virtual world can be increased by hypnotic suggestions.

Aromatherapy:

In aromatherapy, also known as essential oil therapy, components from various plant parts, such as leaves, flowers, and seeds, are used to produce fragrant essential oils using various extraction methods. In the therapeutic setting, aromatherapy is frequently used to treat dementia and postoperative nausea and vomiting. The creation of a 3D area for aromatherapy items is made possible by combining 3D, VR, and hands-on aromatherapy for a strong learning experience.

Older respondents had substantial post-intervention gains in happiness, perceived stress, sleep quality, experience with meditation, and life satisfaction after the intervention lasted for nine weeks. This strategy was also proven to decrease the waste of resources from hands-on activities and boost the social involvement and interpersonal communication of senior persons.

Yoga:

Yoga is a mind-body technique that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation to improve body awareness, flexibility, and strength. Healthcare personnel could perform VR-based yoga pranayama and meditation during the COVID-19 epidemic, and the exercise made them feel more at peace, optimistic, and calm.

Participants in a pilot trial preferred virtual yoga treatments to face-to-face yoga, maybe because there were no travel restrictions and no COVID-19 infection risks.

By reducing anxiety and offering a means of escaping from the limits of upsetting medical situations, VR tends to create a pleasant and enjoyable impression. The majority of patients said that given the chance, they would be open to using VR once more.

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Ghanshyam Sharma
Ghanshyam Sharma