Research and publications

Compelling findings and frameworks in the realms of therapeutic VR and loneliness.

Loneliness and health

Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review.

Holt – Lunstad et al. 2010
‘Loneliness can be as damaging to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day.’


Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for CVD: implications for evidence-based patient care and scientific inquiry.

Holt-Lunstad & Smith 2016
‘Loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke.’


Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies.

Valtorta et al. 2016
‘Loneliness is a risk factor for higher rates of poor physical health, such as coronary heart disease and stroke.’


Making the economic case for investing in actions to prevent and/or tackle loneliness: a systematic review.

McDaid, Bauer & Park 2017
‘Preliminary findings show that for every £1 invested you can expect a £3 return in health costs.’

VR/tech for loneliness

Video calls to reduce loneliness and social isolation within care environments for older people: an implementation study using collaborative action research

Zamir et al. 2018
‘Older people were able to use SoW (Skype on wheels) with assistance from staff, and enjoyed the use of video-calls to stay better connected with family.’


Impact of Virtual Reality (VR) Experience on Older Adults’ Well-Being

Lin et al. 2018

Participants that used the VR system reported being less socially isolated, being less likely to show signs of depression, experiencing positive affects more frequently, and feeling better about their overall well-being’.


Effectiveness of a Virtual Reality Forest on People With Dementia: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study

Moyle et al. 2018

A Virtual Reality Forest (VRF) was perceived by residents, family members, and staff to have a positive effect and suggests that virtual reality may have the potential to improve quality of life for people with dementia.’


A Feasibility Study with Image-Based Rendered Virtual Reality in Patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia

Manera et al. 2016

Participants with MCI and dementia were highly satisfied and interested in the task, and reported high feelings of security, and low discomfort, anxiety and fatigue’.

Other therapeutic VR

Walking in fully immersive virtual environments: an evaluation of potential adverse effects in older adults and individuals with Parkinson’s disease

Kim, Darakjian & Finley 2017

Older adults and individuals with PD were able to successfully use immersive VR during walking without adverse effects’.


Virtual reality exposure therapy in anxiety disorders: a quantitative meta-analysis

Opris et al. 2012

Findings from this 21-study meta-analysis support virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) as a promising intervention for the treatment of the anxiety disorders.


Virtual Reality in Health System: Beyond Entertainment. A Mini-Review on the Efficacy of VR During Cancer Treatment

Chirico et al. 2016

This 19-study review found that VR improved patients’ emotional well-being and diminished cancer-related psychological symptoms.


Recommendations for Methodology of Virtual Reality Clinical Trials in Health Care by an International Working Group: Iterative Study

Birckhead et al. 2019

Therapeutic VR scientific framework developed by VR-CORE group with study design considerations for VR1, VR2 and VR3.