Background: Healthcare workers represent one of the most affected categories by the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Excessive stress and anxiety are critical factors that could compromise work performance. Besides, high levels of stress and anxiety may have long-term physical and psychological consequences. Recent studies investigated virtual reality to reduce stress and anxiety among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the proposed virtual reality interventions have important limitations related to their location (i.e., research lab and hospitals) and content (i.e., virtual experiences only for relaxation). Within this context, this randomized controlled trial aims to investigate the efficacy and acceptability of a brief home-based virtual reality training for managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis in a sample of Italian healthcare workers. Methods: The study is a randomized controlled trial. It includes two groups of 30 individuals recruited from healthcare workers: (1) the experimental group and (2) the control group. Participants in the experimental group will receive a training consisting of three home sessions performed in a week. In each session, participants will try through an immersive virtual reality standalone system (i.e., Oculus Quest 2) a virtual psychoeducation experience on stress and anxiety (i.e., MIND-VR). Subsequently, they will try the virtual relaxation content (i.e., The Secret Garden). The control group will receive no training and will be reassessed one week and one month after the initial evaluation. Discussion: If the proposed brief home-based virtual reality training will result helpful and easy to use, it could become an empirically assessed viable option for protecting healthcare workers' mental health both during the COVID-19 pandemic and once it will be over. Furthermore, the intervention might be easily adapted for other categories of people who need support in managing stress and anxiety. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04611399 .

Pallavicini, F., Orena, E., di Santo, S., Greci, L., Caragnano, C., Ranieri, P., et al. (2022). A virtual reality home-based training for the management of stress and anxiety among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. TRIALS, 23(1) [10.1186/s13063-022-06337-2].

A virtual reality home-based training for the management of stress and anxiety among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Pallavicini, Federica
;
Orena, Eleonora;Ranieri, Paolo;Pepe, Alessandro;Veronese, Guido;Dakanalis, Antonios;Clerici, Massimo;Mantovani, Fabrizia
2022

Abstract

Background: Healthcare workers represent one of the most affected categories by the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. Excessive stress and anxiety are critical factors that could compromise work performance. Besides, high levels of stress and anxiety may have long-term physical and psychological consequences. Recent studies investigated virtual reality to reduce stress and anxiety among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the proposed virtual reality interventions have important limitations related to their location (i.e., research lab and hospitals) and content (i.e., virtual experiences only for relaxation). Within this context, this randomized controlled trial aims to investigate the efficacy and acceptability of a brief home-based virtual reality training for managing stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis in a sample of Italian healthcare workers. Methods: The study is a randomized controlled trial. It includes two groups of 30 individuals recruited from healthcare workers: (1) the experimental group and (2) the control group. Participants in the experimental group will receive a training consisting of three home sessions performed in a week. In each session, participants will try through an immersive virtual reality standalone system (i.e., Oculus Quest 2) a virtual psychoeducation experience on stress and anxiety (i.e., MIND-VR). Subsequently, they will try the virtual relaxation content (i.e., The Secret Garden). The control group will receive no training and will be reassessed one week and one month after the initial evaluation. Discussion: If the proposed brief home-based virtual reality training will result helpful and easy to use, it could become an empirically assessed viable option for protecting healthcare workers' mental health both during the COVID-19 pandemic and once it will be over. Furthermore, the intervention might be easily adapted for other categories of people who need support in managing stress and anxiety. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04611399 .
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Scientifica
Anxiety; COVID-19; Healthcare workers; Psychoeducation; Relaxation; Stress; Virtual reality;
English
Pallavicini, F., Orena, E., di Santo, S., Greci, L., Caragnano, C., Ranieri, P., et al. (2022). A virtual reality home-based training for the management of stress and anxiety among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. TRIALS, 23(1) [10.1186/s13063-022-06337-2].
Pallavicini, F; Orena, E; di Santo, S; Greci, L; Caragnano, C; Ranieri, P; Vuolato, C; Pepe, A; Veronese, G; Stefanini, S; Achille, F; Dakanalis, A; Bernardelli, L; Sforza, F; Rossini, A; Caltagirone, C; Fascendini, S; Clerici, M; Riva, G; Mantovani, F
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
A_virtual_reality_home-based_training_for_the_mana.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia di allegato: Publisher’s Version (Version of Record, VoR)
Dimensione 1.62 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.62 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/380660
Citazioni
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
Social impact