Attitudes towards the use of virtual reality within early psychosis services amongst clinicians and young people

Imogen Bell, Carli Ellinghaus, Roos Pot-Kolder, Jennifer M. Nicholas, Michelle Tennant, Iain C. Macmillan, Liza Hopkins, Lee Valentine, Mario Alvarez-Jimenez, Andrew D. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Aim: Virtual reality (VR) is a highly novel technology with potential to provide accessible, flexible and personalised mental health treatment. Emerging evidence has demonstrated the clinical benefits of VR for treating psychotic conditions in adults, however very little research has been conducted on its use for young people with early psychosis. To inform this emerging research area, the current study aimed to understand perspectives from young people and clinicians on the therapeutic application of VR technologies within routine clinical treatment of early psychosis.
Methods: A qualitative study involving focus groups with clinicians of an early psychosis service based in Melbourne, Australia, and one-on-one interviews with young people with experience receiving care form early psychosis services.
Results: Thematic analysis of qualitative data from focus groups with 20 clinicians and individual interviews with 20 young people produced several themes relating the potential for VR to support treatment, particularly for functional and social recovery, social skills training and symptom management, and a need for an individualised approach fitting with the needs and comfort of each young person.
Conclusions: This study provides the first ever examination of the potential use of VR within early psychosis services, highlighting the attitudes, preferences, barriers and facilitators amongst clinicians and young people. Findings will stimulate ideas for future development driven from the experience of key stakeholders in order to develop relevant, usable, effective and implementable VR interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12697
Pages (from-to)141
Number of pages1
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
EventInternational Conference on Early Intervention in Mental Health 2023: IEPA14 - University of Lausanne, Dorigny Campus, Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 10 Jul 202312 Jul 2023
Conference number: 14th

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