360° videos for immersive mental health interventions: a systematic review

Alina Ionescu, Tom Van Daele, Carolyn Blair, Albert A Rizzo , Paul Best

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Virtual reality is increasingly recognized as a powerful method for clinical interventions in the mental health field, but has yet to achieve mainstream adoption in routine mental healthcare settings. A similar, yet slightly different technology, immersive 360° videos might have the potential to cover this gap, by requiring both lower costs and less technical skills to construct and operate such virtual environments. This systematic review therefore aims to identify, evaluate and summarize mental health interventions using immersive 360° videos to support an understanding of their implementation in daily clinical practice. The quality of the 14 selected studies was evaluated using a critical appraisal tool, addressing populations with clinical levels of psychopathological symptoms, somatic conditions associated with psychological implications and other at-risk groups. Immersive 360° videos successfully increased users’ feelings of presence, given their realistic features, and therefore yielded positive outcomes in clinical interventions where presence is considered as an essential precondition. Because the technical skills required to create immersive 360° video footage are fairly limited, most of the interventions using this approach have been created by mental health researchers or clinicians themselves. Immersive 360° videos are still in an early phase of implementation as a tool for clinical interventions for mental health, resulting in high heterogeneity in focus, procedures and research designs. An important next step for making use of this technology may therefore involve the creation of standardized procedures, as a means to increase the quality of research and evidence-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Technology in Behavioral Science
Publication statusAccepted - 27 Jul 2021

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