The virtual reality plus neurofeedback group (VR+NF) showed significant increases in calmness and happiness, which did not change significantly in the audio-only group. Additionally, the VR+NF group showed significant decreases in fatigue and confusion, while the audio-only group showed no significant change in these measures. These findings suggest that the addition of virtual reality and neurofeedback may increase the positive outcomes associated with standard audio-guided meditation.
KEYWORDS - Virtual Reality | VR Meditation | Healthcare Workers | Neurofeedback | Mental Health | Anger | Tension | Depression | Fatigue | Confusion | Calmness | Happiness
This scientific study compared the effects of a virtual reality plus neurofeedback (VR+NF) meditation experience to a standard audio-only guided meditation in improving the mood of 100 healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants were assigned to either the VR+NF or audio-only condition and completed mood assessments before and after the meditation. Both groups experienced significant decreases in anger, tension, and depression after the meditation. Additionally, the VR+NF group showed significant increases in calmness and happiness, which did not change significantly in the audio-only group. The VR+NF group also showed significant decreases in fatigue and confusion, while the audio-only group showed no significant change in these measures.
Mental health and well-being are crucial for overall health, and meditation has been shown to have a positive impact on mood states. However, traditional meditation practices can be challenging to implement in clinical healthcare environments. To address this issue, researchers have explored the use of virtual reality (VR) as a tool for delivering meditation interventions. The paper by Tarrant et al. examines the effectiveness of a virtual reality plus neurofeedback (VR+NF) meditation experience in improving mood in healthcare workers. The study compares the VR+NF meditation experience to a standard guided audio-only meditation to determine whether virtual reality meditation is a viable stress-management approach for healthcare workers.
100 healthcare workers from a single hospital were recruited for the study. Participants had to be over 18 years of age and have no history of neurological or psychiatric disorders. Participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (VR+NF meditation) or the control group (audio-only meditation). The VR+NF meditation group received a VR-enhanced 10-minute guided meditation session using a Healium Oculus Go Virtual Reality Headset that used the Atmosphaeres 360-degree video ‘Wineglass Bay Beach’ and provided real-time neurofeedback through a BrainLink Lite EEG headband. The control group received a 10-minute, audio-only guided meditation session. Both groups completed the Brunel Mood Scale before and after the meditation session to assess changes in mood. A demographic questionnaire was also administered to collect information related to participants' sex, age, race, education level, experience with meditative practices, and history of mental illness. Data were analyzed to compare changes in mood between the experimental and control groups.
The study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a virtual reality plus neurofeedback (VR+NF) meditation experience in improving mood in healthcare workers. Results indicated that both the VR+NF and audio-only groups showed a similar and significant decrease in anger, tension, and depression. However, the VR+NF group showed significant increases on the calmness and happiness scales, which did not change significantly in the audio-only group. On scales measuring vigor, fatigue, and confusion, the VR+NF group showed decreases, while the audio-only group showed no significant change. These findings suggest that the addition of VR and neurofeedback may increase the positive outcomes associated with standard audio-guided meditation. The increased benefits may be due to the sense of presence intrinsic to VR, the inclusion of nature-based scenes in the VR experience, as well as the increased self-awareness created by the addition of neurofeedback. Further studies assessing the longer-term changes are needed as the pre and post measures took place within one 50-min session.
The results of this study suggest that the addition of VR and neurofeedback to standard audio-guided meditation may increase the positive outcomes associated with meditation. The VR+NF group showed significant increases in Calmness and Happiness, which did not change significantly in the audio-only group. The inclusion of nature-based scenes in the VR experience and the increased self-awareness created by the addition of neurofeedback may have contributed to the increased benefits. Overall, this study provides support for the use of VR and neurofeedback in meditation interventions for improving the mood of frontline healthcare workers. These interventions may offer a convenient and effective way to support the mental health needs of healthcare workers during times of high stress and demand. Further studies assessing the longer-term changes are needed.
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Citation: Tarrant J, Jackson R and Viczko J (2022) A Feasibility Test of a Brief Mobile Virtual Reality Meditation for Frontline Healthcare Workers in a Hospital Setting. Front. Virtual Real. 3:764745. doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2022.764745
Conflict of Interest Declaration: While this study used one or more of Atmosphaeres’ 360 VR Experiences or stock videos, the study was conducted fully independently by the study authors and without any involvement of the video creators Eric & Susanne Fassbender (Atmosphaeres).
Disclaimer: This summary was created with the help of AI writing tools. The content may therefore not always be entirely accurate. We assume no responsibility for any false or incorrect information provided in this article. It is essential to independently verify the content in the original publication which is linked in the citation section above.
AT A GLANCE
What was studied?
Whether a virtual reality meditation experience with neurofeedback is more effective than a standard guided audio-only meditation in improving the mood of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What methods were used?
100 participants from a University were recruited and assigned to either one of the conditions (VR vs. audio-only). Mood states were measured using the Brunel Mood Scale before and after the meditation sessions.
What were the results?
The virtual reality group showed significant increases in calmness and happiness, while also showing significant decreases in fatigue and confusion as compared to the audio-only group.
What is the Conclusion?
Combining virtual reality (VR) and neurofeedback with traditional meditation can make people feel calmer and happier, especially in a healthcare setting, offering a potentially helpful and convenient way to support the mental well-being of frontline healthcare workers under high-stress conditions. More research is needed to understand the long-term effects.