A virtual reality-based vocational training system (VRVTS) for people with schizophrenia in vocational rehabilitation

Mayie M.Y. Tsang, Wai Kwong Man

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Employment provides schizophrenic patients with a positive identity and hope. Cognitive impairments have been suggested to slow down the progress in work rehabilitation. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy and effectiveness of VR as a cognitive intervention for enhancing vocational outcomes. 95 inpatients with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to a virtual reality-based vocational training group (VRG), a therapist-administered group (TAG) and a conventional group (CG). Twenty-five of them in each group had completed the study. Their performances were evaluated, before and after interventions, by Brief Neuropsychological Cognitive Examination, Digit Vigilance Test, Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Vocational Cognitive Rating Scale. Patients in the VRG were found to perform better than patients in the TAG and CG in cognitive functioning, as shown by the WCST-percentage of error (F (2, 72) = 7.146, p. <. 0.001) and the WCST-percentage of conceptual level response (F (2, 72) = 8.722, p. <. 0.001). The post-hoc test revealed that the VRG showed a better performance than both the TAG (p = 0.03) and the CG (p. <. 0.001) in the WCST-percentage of error. The VRG also showed a better performance than patients in both the TAG (p = 0.01) and the CG (p. <. 0.001) in the WCST-percentage of conceptual level response. The VRG also showed a better self-efficacy score than CG. Both VRG and TAG showed a better work performance as reflected by the on-site tests. Further studies on the use of VR in schizophrenia rehabilitation and for vocational success are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • Cognitive
  • Rehabilitation
  • Virtual reality
  • Vocational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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