Virtual Reality Human–Human Interface to Deliver Psychotherapy to People Experiencing Auditory Verbal Hallucinations: Development and Usability Study
- Journal Article
Background: Digital technologies have expanded the options for delivering psychotherapy, permitting for example, the treatment of schizophrenia using Avatar Therapy. Despite its considerable potential, this treatment method has not been widely disseminated. As a result, its operability and functionality remain largely unknown. Objective: We aimed to study the usability of a therapeutic virtual reality human–human interface, created in a game engine. Methods: Participants were psychiatric hospital staff who were introduced to the therapeutic platform in a hands-on session. The System Usability Scale (SUS) was employed for evaluation purposes. Statistical evaluation was conducted using descriptive statistics, the chi-square test, analysis of variance, and multilevel factor analysis. Results: In total, 109 staff members were introduced to the therapeutic tool and completed the SUS. The mean SUS global score was 81.49 (SD 11.1). Psychotherapists (mean 86.44, SD 8.79) scored significantly higher (F2,106=6.136; P=.003) than nursing staff (mean 79.01, SD 13.30) and administrative personnel (mean 77.98, SD 10.72). A multilevel factor analysis demonstrates a different factor structure for each profession. Conclusions: In all professional groups in this study, the usability of a digital psychotherapeutic tool developed using a game engine achieved the benchmark for an excellent system, scoring highest among the professional target group (psychotherapists). The usability of the system seems, to some extent, to be dependent on the professional background of the user. It is possible to create and customize novel psychotherapeutic approaches with gaming technologies and platforms. Show more
Journal / seriesJMIR Serious Games
Pages / Article No.
Subjectsystem usability; virtual reality psychotherapy; verbal auditory hallucinations
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