A Virtual Reality tool using embodiment and body swapping techniques for the treatment of obesity: A pilot usability study

Dimitra Anastasiadou*, Bernhard Spanlang, Mel Slater, Julia Vazquez-De Sebastian, Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga, Gemma Parramon Puig, Andreea Ciudin, Marta Comas, Pilar Lusilla-Palacios

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículoInvestigaciónrevisión exhaustiva

Resumen

The objective of the present study, which is framed within the European Union’s H2020 project titled SOCRATES, is to examine the usability of a Virtual Reality (VR) embodiment tool for treating obesity. Six healthy adult participants with a desire to make lifestyle changes in terms of eating healthier and doing more physical activity were recruited and were randomly assigned to the experimental group (EG) or the control group (CG). Participants from the EG engaged in a self-conversation aiming at enhancing their self-awareness and, through embodied perspective taking (body swapping), they were embodied alternately in their own virtual representation and in a counsellor’s virtual body. Participants from the CG, embodied in their own virtual bodies, participated in a “scripted dialogue” with a counsellor of their choice who asked them about their perceived barriers for engagement with a healthier lifestyle and gave them practical recommendations about how to make lifestyle changes. A mixed-methods design was used, involving a semi-structured interview examining the level of users’ satisfaction with the 2 virtual experiences and their uncovered needs, as well as self-report questionnaires including those addressing readiness to change habits, body ownership during the VR experiences, and system usability. The pilot usability study was conducted in July 2021. Then from September 2021 onwards, once modifications to the prototype are carried out based on the usability testing and the final VR tool is ready for use in a clinical setting, a Randomised Controlled Trial will be conducted with 96 participants with obesity to assess its efficacy compared to usual care.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)105-110
Número de páginas6
PublicaciónAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Volumen19
EstadoPublicada - 1 jun 2021

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