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Currently accepted at: Journal of Medical Internet Research

Date Submitted: Apr 28, 2017
Date Accepted: Nov 16, 2017
(closed for review but you can still tweet)

This paper has been accepted and is currently in production.

It will appear shortly on 10.2196/jmir.7898

The final accepted version (not copyedited yet) is in this tab.

The final, peer-reviewed published version of this preprint can be found here:

The Use of Virtual Reality in Patients with Eating Disorders: Systematic Review

Clus D, Larsen ME, Lemey C, Berrouiguet S

The Use of Virtual Reality in Patients with Eating Disorders: Systematic Review

J Med Internet Res 2018;20(4):e157

DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7898

PMID: 29703715

PMCID: 5948410

The Use of Virtual Reality in Patients with Eating Disorders: Systematic Review

  • Damien Clus; 
  • Mark Erik Larsen; 
  • Christophe Lemey; 
  • Sofian Berrouiguet

ABSTRACT

Background:

Patients with eating disorders are characterized by pathological eating habits and a tendency to overestimate their weight and body shape. Virtual reality shows promise for the evaluation and management of patients with eating disorders. This technology, when accepted by this population, allows immersion in virtual environments, assessment, and therapeutic approaches, by exposing users to high-calorie foods or changes in body shape.

Objective:

To better understand the value of virtual reality, we conducted a review of the literature, including clinical studies proposing the use of virtual reality for the evaluation and management of patients with eating disorders.

Methods:

We searched PubMed, PsycINFO, ScienceDirect, the Cochrane Library, Scopus, and Web of Science up to April 2017. We created the list of keywords based on two domains: virtual reality and eating disorders. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses to identify, select, and critically appraise relevant research while minimizing bias.

Results:

The initial database searches identified 311 articles, 149 of which we removed as duplicates. We analyzed the resulting set of 26 unique studies that met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 8 studies were randomized controlled trials, 13 were nonrandomized studies, and 5 were clinical trials with only 1 participant. Most articles focused on clinical populations (19/26, 73%), with the remainder reporting case-control studies (7/26, 27%). Most of the studies used visual immersive equipment (16/26, 62%) with a head-mounted display (15/16, 94%). Two main areas of interest emerged from these studies: virtual work on patients’ body image (7/26, 27%) and exposure to virtual food stimuli (10/26, 38%).

Conclusions:

We conducted a broad analysis of studies on the use of virtual reality in patients with eating disorders. This review of the literature showed that virtual reality is an acceptable and promising therapeutic tool for patients with eating disorders.


 Citation

Please cite as:

Clus D, Larsen ME, Lemey C, Berrouiguet S

The Use of Virtual Reality in Patients with Eating Disorders: Systematic Review

Journal of Medical Internet Research. (forthcoming/in press)

DOI: 10.2196/jmir.7898

URL: https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/7898

PMID: 29703715

PMCID: 5948410

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