Non-pharmacological means are being developed to enhance cognitive abilities in drug abusers. This study evaluated virtual reality (VR) as an intervention tool for enhancing cognitive and vocational outcomes in 90 young ketamine users (KU) randomly assigned to a treatment group (virtual reality group, VRG; tutor-administered group, TAG) or wait-listed control group (CG). Two training programmes with similar content but different delivery modes (VR-based and manual-based) were applied using a virtual boutique as a training scenario. Outcome assessments comprised the Digit Vigilance Test, Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test, Wisconsin Cart Sorting Test, work-site test and self-efficacy pre- and post-test and during 3- and 6-month follow-ups. The VRG exhibited significant improvements in attention and improvements in memory that were maintained after 3 months. Both the VRG and TAG exhibited significantly improved vocational skills after training which were maintained during follow-up, and improved self-efficacy. VR-based cognitive training might target cognitive problems in KU.
- Cognitive enhancement
- Virtual reality
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology