Virtual Reality-Based Immersive Rehabilitation for Cognitive-and Behavioral-Impairment-Related Eating Disorders: A VREHAB Framework Scoping Review

Bryan Pak Hei So, Derek Ka Hei Lai, Daphne Sze Ki Cheung, Wing Kai Lam, James Chung Wai Cheung, Duo Wai Chi Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) technology is one of the promising directions for rehabilitation, especially cognitive rehabilitation. Previous studies demonstrated successful rehabilitation in motor, cognitive, and sensorial functions using VR. The objective of this review is to summarize the current designs and evidence on immersive rehabilitation interventions using VR on cognitive-or behavioral-related eating disorders, which was mapped using a VREHAB framework. Two authors independently searched electronic databases, including PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library. Ten (n = 10) articles were eligible for review. Treatments for anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder/bulimia nervosa were reported through enhanced/experimental cognitive behavior therapy (ECT), cue exposure therapy (CET), and body exposure therapy (BET) via the virtual environment. Some studies reported that the VR effects were superior or comparable to traditional treatments, while the effects may last longer using VR technology. In addition, VR was perceived as acceptable and feasible among patients and therapists and could be valuable for supplementing existing therapies, relieving manpower and caregiver burdens. Future studies may consider incorporating haptic, smell, and biofeedback to improve the experience, and thus the effects of the treatments for the users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5821
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2022

Keywords

  • bulimia nervosa
  • dys-phagia
  • nutrition
  • restrictive food-intake disorder
  • virtual rehabilitation
  • X-Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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