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Bridging Experimental and Clinical Settings: Usability and User Experience of Virtual Reality Body Swapping for Body-Focused Interventions.

EasyChair Preprint no. 13097

20 pagesDate: April 25, 2024


In recent years, many attempts have been to develop new approaches to treat mental disorders using Virtual Reality technology. Because of its properties, Virtual Reality emerged as a suitable tool to study body experience thanks to paradigms such as Body Swapping (VR-BS). Preliminary data revealed that VR-BS was able to assess and treat altered body experience in conditions such as Anorexia Nervosa. However, the application of VR-BS in clinical settings is hindered by the complexity of the technology, which often requires specialized expertise and can induce cybersickness. This study introduces an open-source VR-BS system designed to minimize technical barriers and enhance usability and user experience for both practitioners and participants. By involving participants in both patient and experimenter roles, we conducted a mixed-method evaluation of the system's usability and user experience. Data indicate high usability and positive user experiences, highlighting the system's potential applicability in clinical practice by both non-expert clinicians and patients. This study not only supports the feasibility of implementing VR-BS in therapeutic contexts but also provides critical insights into design and operational strategies that facilitate the integration of VR technology in clinical settings. By bridging the gap between experimental research and clinical practice, our work underscores the transformative potential of VR in developing effective assessment, prevention, and intervention protocols that leverage the unique advantages of virtual reality for mental health treatment.

Keyphrases: allocentric, Anorexia, body, body illusion, Body Swapping, Mirror Exposure, multisensory integration, Usability, user experience, Virtual Reality

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Giulia Brizzi and Andrea Signorelli and Giuseppe Riva},
  title = {Bridging Experimental and Clinical Settings: Usability and User Experience of Virtual Reality Body Swapping for Body-Focused Interventions.},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 13097},

  year = {EasyChair, 2024}}
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