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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (6)
Articles by Federica Pallavicini in JoVE
The use of Biofeedback in Clinical Virtual Reality: The INTREPID Project
Claudia Repetto1, Alessandra Gorini1, Cinzia Vigna1, Davide Algeri1, Federica Pallavicini1, Giuseppe Riva1,2
1Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, 2Psychology Department, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
The Project on Virtual Reality Intelligent Multi-sensor System for the Treatment of Anxiety-related Disorders (INTREPID) is aimed at developing a multi-sensor context-aware virtual reality system for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders.
Other articles by Federica Pallavicini on PubMed
Interreality in Practice: Bridging Virtual and Real Worlds in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorders
Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20528294
The use of new technologies, particularly virtual reality, is not new in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD): VR is used to facilitate the activation of the traumatic event during exposure therapy. However, during the therapy, VR is a new and distinct realm, separate from the emotions and behaviors experienced by the patient in the real world: the behavior of the patient in VR has no direct effects on the real-life experience; the emotions and problems experienced by the patient in the real world are not directly addressed in the VR exposure. In this article, we suggest that the use of a new technological paradigm, Interreality, may improve the clinical outcome of PTSD. The main feature of Interreality is a twofold link between the virtual and real worlds: (a) behavior in the physical world influences the experience in the virtual one; (b) behavior in the virtual world influences the experience in the real one. This is achieved through 3D shared virtual worlds; biosensors and activity sensors (from the real to the virtual world); and personal digital assistants and/or mobile phones (from the virtual world to the real one). We describe different technologies that are involved in the Interreality vision and its clinical rationale. To illustrate the concept of Interreality in practice, a clinical scenario is also presented and discussed: Rosa, a 55-year-old nurse, involved in a major car accident.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20543263
The term "psychological stress" describes a situation in which a subject perceives that environmental demands tax or exceed his or her adaptive capacity. According to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the best validated approach covering both stress management and stress treatment is the Cognitive Behavioral (CBT) approach. We aim to design, develop and test an advanced ICT based solution for the assessment and treatment of psychological stress that is able to improve the actual CBT approach. To reach this goal we will use the "interreality" paradigm integrating assessment and treatment within a hybrid environment, that creates a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. Our claim is that bridging virtual experiences (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and emotional regulation) with real experiences (allowing both the identification of any critical stressors and the assessment of what has been learned) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, advanced sensors and PDA/mobile phones) is the best way to address the above limitations. To illustrate the proposed concept, a clinical scenario is also presented and discussed: Paola, a 45 years old nurse, with a mother affected by progressive senile dementia.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20543266
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a common anxiety disorder characterized by 6 months of "excessive anxiety and worry" about a variety of events and situations. Anxiety and worry are often accompanied by additional symptoms like restlessness, being easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension and disturbed sleep. GAD is usually treated with medications and/or psychotherapy. In particular, the two most promising treatments seem to be cognitive therapy and applied relaxation. In this study we integrated these approaches through the use of a biofeedback enhanced virtual reality (VR) system used both for relaxation and controlled exposure. Moreover, this experience is strengthened by the use of a mobile phone that allows patients to perform the virtual experience even in an outpatient setting. This paper describe the results of a controlled trial (NCT00602212) involving 20 GAD patients randomly assigned to the following groups: (1) the VR and Mobile group (VRMB) including biofeedback; (2) the VR and Mobile group (VRM) without biofeedback; (3) the waiting list (WL) group. The clinical data underlined that (a) VR can be used also in the treatment of GAD; (b) in a VR treatment, patients take advantage of a mobile device that delivers in an outpatient setting guided experiences, similar to the one experienced in VR.
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21335786
In this paper we introduce a new ubiquitous computing paradigm for behavioral health care: "Interreality". Interreality integrates assessment and treatment within a hybrid environment, that creates a bridge between the physical and virtual worlds. Our claim is that bridging virtual experiences (fully controlled by the therapist, used to learn coping skills and emotional regulation) with real experiences (allowing both the identification of any critical stressors and the assessment of what has been learned) using advanced technologies (virtual worlds, advanced sensors and PDA/mobile phones) may improve existing psychological treatment. To illustrate the proposed concept, a clinical scenario is also presented and discussed: Daniela, a 40 years old teacher, with a mother affected by Alzheimer's disease.
NeuroVR 2--a Free Virtual Reality Platform for the Assessment and Treatment in Behavioral Health Care
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21335845
At MMVR 2007 we presented NeuroVR (http://www.neurovr.org) a free virtual reality platform based on open-source software. The software allows non-expert users to adapt the content of 14 pre-designed virtual environments to the specific needs of the clinical or experimental setting. Following the feedbacks of the 2000 users who downloaded the first versions (1 and 1.5), we developed a new version--NeuroVR 2 (http://www.neurovr2.org)--that improves the possibility for the therapist to enhance the patient's feeling of familiarity and intimacy with the virtual scene, by using external sounds, photos or videos. More, when running a simulation, the system offers a set of standard features that contribute to increase the realism of the simulated scene. These include collision detection to control movements in the environment, realistic walk-style motion, advanced lighting techniques for enhanced image quality, and streaming of video textures using alpha channel for transparency.
Validation of a Neuro Virtual Reality-based Version of the Multiple Errands Test for the Assessment of Executive Functions
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics. 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21685648
The purpose of this study was to establish ecological validity and initial construct validity of the Virtual Reality (VR) version of the Multiple Errands Test (MET) (Shallice & Burgess, 1991; Fortin et al., 2003) based on the NeuroVR software as an assessment tool for executive functions. In particular, the MET is an assessment of executive functions in daily life, which consists of tasks that abide by certain rules and is performed in a shopping mall-like setting where items need to be bought and information needs to be obtained. The study population included three groups: post-stroke participants (n = 5), healthy, young participants (n = 5), and healthy, older participants (n = 5). Specific objectives were (1) to examine the relationships between the performance of three groups of participants in the Virtual Multiple Errands Test (VMET) and at the traditional neuropsychological tests employed to assess executive functions and (2) to compare the performance of post-stroke participants to those of healthy, young controls and older controls in the VMET and at the traditional neuropsychological tests employed to assess executive functions.