Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been used in mainstream medicine over the past thirty years to aid general mental health. For this study, we observed the effect of virtual reality (VR) on mindfulness to assess levels of worry, anxiety, rumination, and depression. We used an Oculus Rift (Facebook Technologies, LLC) ©, the Perfect (NDreams) © virtual reality environment, and the Hill’s Mindfulness Practice (HMP) © training instructions, created by the authors. Participants were randomly selected into three conditions over a three-week, six-session trial: a VR group with mindfulness training, an auditory mindfulness group, and a virtual reality control group. In the first session, all participants filled out a battery of mental health instruments, including measures of anxiety (GAD-7), worry (PSWQ), depression (PHQ-9), and rumination (Ruminative Response Scale). In each session, the mindfulness virtual reality group listened to the mindfulness audio in a virtual reality setting, while the mindfulness auditory group only listened to the mindfulness audio through a sound bar, without virtual reality. Finally, the virtual reality control group used Google Earth VR © during the six sessions. A Repeated Measures ANOVA for worry significantly demonstrated a reduction across all training conditions (F (1, 31) = 18.075, p = .001, ηp2 =.368). Scores for anxiety, depression, and rumination were not significant. These findings could be utilized to help college students find useful ways to cope with the everyday challenges of academic, social, and work life.
Key Words: Mindfulness, virtual reality, mental health, anxiety, worry, depression, rumination
This is a metadata-only record.
- Event location
- Event date
22 March 2019
- Date submitted
19 July 2022
- Additional information
Dr. Chuck Robertson and Dr. Michele Hill