Publication Date



Consortium Psychiatricum


BACKGROUND: Patients in general hospitals often display concomitant signs of mental maladjustment: low mood, anxiety, apathy, asthenia, all of which can have a negative impact on the course of the underlying disease and the recovery process. One of the non-pharmacological approaches that has gained wider acceptance in medical practice in recent years is the use of procedures based on virtual reality.

AIM: Assess the efficacy of the new domestic, virtual reality application Flow as relates to symptoms of anxiety and asthenia in patients undergoing inpatient treatment.

METHODS: The study was open-label and had a comparison group; the patients were assigned to the experimental or control group using a randomization table. The patients were assessed using the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory; the Fatigue Symptom Rating Scale; the Well-being, Activity, Mood questionnaire; the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale; and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Physical parameters were measured before and after each virtual reality session. The obtained data were statistically processed.

RESULTS: The study involved 60 patients. In 40 patients, the treatment program included a course of five daily relaxation sessions in virtual reality; the control group consisted of 20 patients, who were treated in accordance with the usual practice of the institution. The addition of virtual reality sessions to the standard treatment course yielded significant advantage in terms of affective symptoms reduction in patients both after a single session and as a result of undergoing the full course, and several days after its completion. The patients in the experimental group also showed a significant decrease in blood pressure after the sessions, and this was most pronounced in individuals who initially had elevated and high blood pressure.

CONCLUSION: The use of relaxation program courses in the virtual reality application Flow is an effective and promising means of non-pharmacological care for non-psychiatric inpatients showing symptoms of anxiety, apathy, depressive mood, as well as hypertension.


comorbid mental symptoms, lowering blood pressure, maladjustment reaction, non-pharmacological therapy, virtual reality



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