The Feasibility and Impact of Delivering a Mind-Body Intervention in a Virtual World

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The Feasibility and Impact of Delivering a Mind-Body Intervention in a Virtual World

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dc.contributor.author Linton, Deborah A.
dc.contributor.author Bello, Heather E.
dc.contributor.author Senelly, Marco
dc.contributor.author Milik, Mariola T.
dc.contributor.author Baim, Margaret A.
dc.contributor.author Hoch, Daniel B.
dc.contributor.author Watson, Alice Joan
dc.contributor.author Jethwani, Kamal Shanker
dc.contributor.author Fricchione, Gregory Lewis
dc.contributor.author Benson, Herbert
dc.contributor.author Kvedar, Joseph Charles
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-22T17:33:24Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.citation Hoch, Daniel B., Alice J. Watson, Deborah A. Linton, Heather E. Bello, Marco Senelly, Mariola T. Milik, Margaret A. Baim, et al. 2012. The feasibility and impact of delivering a mind-body intervention in a virtual world. PLoS ONE 7(3): e33843. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9793864
dc.description.abstract Introduction: Mind-body medical approaches may ameliorate chronic disease. Stress reduction is particularly helpful, but face-to-face delivery systems cannot reach all those who might benefit. An online, 3-dimensional virtual world may be able to support the rich interpersonal interactions required of this approach. In this pilot study, we explore the feasibility of translating a face-to-face stress reduction program into an online virtual setting and estimate the effect size of the intervention. Methods and Findings: Domain experts in virtual world technology joined with mind body practitioners to translate an existing 8 week relaxation response-based resiliency program into an 8-week virtual world-based program in Second Life™ (SL). Twenty-four healthy volunteers with at least one month's experience in SL completed the program. Each subject filled out the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and the Symptom Checklist 90- Revised (SCL-90-R) before and after taking part. Participants took part in one of 3 groups of about 10 subjects. The participants found the program to be helpful and enjoyable. Many reported that the virtual environment was an excellent substitute for the preferred face-to-face approach. On quantitative measures, there was a general trend toward decreased perceived stress, (15.7 to 15.0), symptoms of depression, (57.6 to 57.0) and anxiety (56.8 to 54.8). There was a significant decrease of 2.8 points on the SCL-90-R Global Severity Index (p<0.05). Conclusions: This pilot project showed that it is feasible to deliver a typical mind-body medical intervention through a virtual environment and that it is well received. Moreover, the small reduction in psychological distress suggests further research is warranted. Based on the data collected for this project, a randomized trial with less than 50 subjects would be appropriately powered if perceived stress is the primary outcome. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033843 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314673/pdf/ en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject computer science en_US
dc.subject computer applications en_US
dc.subject engineering en_US
dc.subject medicine en_US
dc.subject complementary and alternative medicine en_US
dc.subject mental health en_US
dc.subject psychology en_US
dc.subject non-clinical medicine en_US
dc.subject social and behavioral sciences en_US
dc.title The Feasibility and Impact of Delivering a Mind-Body Intervention in a Virtual World en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal PLoS ONE en_US
dash.depositing.author Hoch, Daniel B.
dc.date.available 2012-10-22T17:33:24Z

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