Unlocking Potential: The Development and User-Friendly Evaluation of a Virtual Reality Intervention for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Ka Po Wong, Bohan Zhang, Jing Qin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


(1) Background: Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is typically first diagnosed in early childhood. Medication and cognitive behavioural therapy are considered effective in treating children with ADHD, whereas these treatments appear to have some side effects and restrictions. Virtual reality (VR), therefore, has been applied to exposure therapy for mental disorders. Previous studies have adopted VR in the cognitive behavioural treatment for children with ADHD; however, no research has used VR to develop social skills training for children with ADHD. This study aimed to develop a VR-based intervention (Social VR) to improve social skills in children with symptoms of ADHD. Prior to conducting the pilot trial to assess the effectiveness of Social VR, valuable user feedback was gathered regarding the mechanics of Social VR, satisfaction and motion sickness. This study presented the development and preliminary usability of Social VR to enhance social interaction skills among children with ADHD. (2) Methods: The development process of the Social VR intervention was demonstrated. The Social VR intervention consisted of three scenarios, namely MTR, Campus and Market and Restaurant. In the usability study, 25 children with ADHD were recruited to test the Social VR during the preliminary usability stage of a clinical trial at preinclusion. The participants completed a survey about their experience of playing Social VR, satisfaction, and motion sickness. (3) Results: The participants indicated the three conditions had easy-to-follow instructions, were easy to pick up, and that they understood when the situations changed. The control and beauty of the graphics of Market and Restaurant were relatively lower compared with those of MTR and Campus. The three scenarios are applicable to children diagnosed with any subtype of ADHD. (4) Conclusion: The participants were satisfied with Social VR. Social VR was generally considered realistic and immersive. Further trials to assess the feasibility and efficacy were discussed. If proven effective, VR-based intervention can be an adjunctive approach to current multimodal training for children with ADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110
JournalApplied System Innovation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • motion sickness
  • social skills
  • usability
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence


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