New technologies and Relaxation: An explorative study on obese patients with emotional eating

Gian Mauro Manzoni, Alessandra Gorini, Alessandra Preziosa, Francesco Pagnini, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Enrico Molinari, Giuseppe Riva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since stress and negative emotions are critical factors in inducing overeating in obese patients, psychological and behavioural interventions for obesity should include stress management techniques. A three weeks relaxation protocol supported by the use of new technologies, including virtual reality (VR) and portable mp3 players, was developed in order to reduce stress and related emotional eating episodes in obese patients. Sixty female obese inpatients reporting emotional eating were included in the study and divided in three experimental groups (virtual reality-VR, imaginative-IM and waiting list). Psychometric and physiological variables were collected. Results show that relaxation training was effective in improving perceived self efficacy in eating control, as well as in decreasing depressive symptoms, anxiety and physiological arousal both in the VR and IM conditions. This study suggests that relaxation training for obese patients with emotional eating is effective, even if the lack of differences between the two conditions suggests some important critical considerations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-192
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cyber Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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