Why do you drink? Virtual Reality as an experiential medium for the assessment of alcohol-dependent individuals

Elena Gatti, Rosanna Massari, Cinzia Sacchelli, Tiziana Lops, Riccardo Gatti, Giuseppe Riva

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

Abstract

The aim of this study is to assess social, personality and behaviors of alcoholics using Virtual Reality (VR). Specifically, we defined a VR protocol using the free NeuroVR software - http://www.neurovr.org - to investigate the following factors: drinking behaviors, intrapersonal factors (Emotional Management and Self Esteem) and environmental factors (Relational Competences and Social Pressure). In this preliminary study we evaluated the difference between assessment methods by comparing the VR assessment protocol with the SCID - Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders - in a sample of 20 alcohol-dependent individuals (10 experimental group + 10 control group) entering a non-pharmacological outpatient treatment. The data, obtained using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, confirm the possibility of using the VR protocol in the assessment of alcohol-dependent patients: the therapist obtains more critical data about behaviors and attitudes in less time. Further, the VR group reported a significant improvement in the motivation for change after the assessment protocol, not found in the SCID group: apparently, the experiential approach required by VR makes the patient more active and involved in the processes of introspection and change. A wider sample and a multicentric trial are now needed to confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Pages132-137
Number of pages6
Volume132
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 16 - Parallel, Combinatorial, Convergent: NextMed by Design, MMVR 2008 - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 30 2008Feb 1 2008

Other

OtherMedicine Meets Virtual Reality 16 - Parallel, Combinatorial, Convergent: NextMed by Design, MMVR 2008
CountryUnited States
CityLong Beach, CA
Period1/30/082/1/08

Keywords

  • Alcoholics
  • Assessment
  • Emotional management
  • Virtual Reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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