The Effects of Virtual Reality on Mental Wellness: A Literature Review
Kayla Roche, Sant Chawla, Stephen Liu*, Steven Siegel
Journal Title:Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Brain Research
Virtual Reality (VR) has been gaining popularity as a means to tackle a variety of issues in medicine and beyond, one of which is improving individuals‟ mental wellness. The purpose of this review is to examine the body of research specific to the application of VR in improving mental wellness, oftentimes in the context of physical illness or disability. Using keywords “Virtual Reality”, “Mental Wellness”, “Mental Health”, “Mood”, “Stress”, “Distress”, and “Quality of Life”, a search of the literature was conducted and 22 articles were identified for inclusion in this review. Results suggest that in many cases VR has been effective in improving various attributes of mental wellness in a variety of samples, and that the quality of the VR technology itself may play a role in these results. Overall, more research considering the long-term and large-scale effects of VR, as well as clarifying which technological features of VR are most successful, should be conducted in order to strengthen the applicability of VR for mental wellness in clinical settings.