Why you really eat? Virtual Reality in the treatment of obese emotional eaters

Giuseppe Riva, Mauro Manzoni, Daniela Villani, Andrea Gaggioli, Enrico Molinari

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

Abstract

The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of a specific stress management protocol, based on immersive Virtual Reality (VR), to be used as part of a multidisciplinary inpatient program for the treatment of obesity. The stress management protocol included imagery, relaxation and different cognitive behavioral approaches - emotion focused coping, self-monitoring and record keeping. Forty (40) participants, all female, were recruited for the study at the San Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Piancavallo (VB), Italy. Participants were chosen among the obese patients without a specific Binge Eating diagnosis but with high level of anxiety and a history of emotional eating. The sample was randomly distributed in three conditions as follows: (a) VR stress Management Protocol; (b) DVD based stress management protocol; (c) no treatment (control condition). Data show that the VR condition produced a significantly higher reduction in anxiety, as compared both to DVD and control groups. More, we found a significant correlation between changes in the emotional state and the level of presence: the more present the users felt, the higher the reduction in anxiety. This datum suggests the possible role of presence in mediating the effects of a stress management protocol.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Pages417-419
Number of pages3
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

  • Obesity
  • Presence
  • Stress management
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management

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