Comparison of relaxation techniques in virtual reality for breast cancer patients

Silvia Francesca Maria Pizzoli, Stefano Triberti, Dario Monzani, Ketti Mazzocco, Emanuela Kufel, Marta Porebiak, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A number of studies demonstrated that virtual reality (VR) featuring pleasant scenarios and relaxing narratives is effective in promoting relaxation in users, both in healthy and pathological contexts. One important field for application of relaxing VR is breast cancer, because of therapy-related distress and changes in body imagine experienced by patients during the care process. However, comparisons between different relaxation techniques adapted to virtual reality are rare. In the present study, the same virtual environment has been integrated with audio narratives designed according to two different relaxation techniques (respiration control and body scan). As initial exploration, 16 breast cancer patients have been exposed to the two versions of the virtual environment to evaluate effectiveness, pleasantness, overall satisfaction with the technique and sense of presence, as well as the impact on the emotional dimensions of valence, arousal and control. Discussion offers recommendations for the content properties of VR for relaxation for breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 5th Experiment at International Conference, 2019
EditorsAlberto Cardoso, Maria Teresa Restivo
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728136370
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Event5th Experiment at International Conference, 2019 - Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Duration: Jun 12 2019Jun 14 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 5th Experiment at International Conference, 2019


Conference5th Experiment at International Conference, 2019
CityFunchal, Madeira


  • breast cancer
  • human-computer interaction
  • relaxation
  • stress reduction
  • user centered design
  • user preferences
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Media Technology
  • Control and Optimization
  • Modelling and Simulation

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