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A prescription for “nature” – The potential of using virtual nature in therapeutics

White, Matthew P.; Yeo, Nicola L.; Vassiljev, Peeter; Lundstedt, Rikard LU ; Wallergård, Mattias LU ; Albin, Maria LU and Löhmus, Mare LU (2018) In Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 14. p.3001-3013
Abstract

Many studies suggest that increased exposure to urban greenness is associated with better population health. Accessing nature can in some circumstances, however, be difficult, especially for individuals with mobility constraints. Therefore, a growing body of work is investigating the ways to replace the in vivo experience with forms of “virtual” contact, in order to provide these individuals with at least some benefits of the natural environment. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of previous use of virtual reality (VR) nature in health and care settings and contemplate the potential use of this technology in future. Our central question is whether engaging with virtual nature can contribute to enhanced physical and emotional... (More)

Many studies suggest that increased exposure to urban greenness is associated with better population health. Accessing nature can in some circumstances, however, be difficult, especially for individuals with mobility constraints. Therefore, a growing body of work is investigating the ways to replace the in vivo experience with forms of “virtual” contact, in order to provide these individuals with at least some benefits of the natural environment. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of previous use of virtual reality (VR) nature in health and care settings and contemplate the potential use of this technology in future. Our central question is whether engaging with virtual nature can contribute to enhanced physical and emotional well-being in housebound or mobility-constrained individuals. We conclude that while contact with real-world nature is preferred, VR use can be an alternative in cases when in vivo contact with nature is not possible. There are many possibilities for the use of VR technology in psychiatric and medical care; however, the risks, benefits, and cost efficiency of these attempts should be carefully assessed and the outcomes should be measured in a scientifically valid manner. The current review has nonetheless demonstrated that VR nature could play a role in each of the proposed mediating mechanisms linking natural environments and health.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Blue space, Clinical use of VR, Elderly care, Green space, Life quality, Mobility-constrained individuals, Pain relief, Virtual reality
in
Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
volume
14
pages
3001 - 3013
publisher
Dove Press
external identifiers
  • scopus:85057536249
ISSN
1176-6328
DOI
10.2147/NDT.S179038
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b9c51c0c-e365-4f58-a7f0-7cecff7d2c7d
date added to LUP
2018-12-20 14:40:21
date last changed
2019-06-19 04:06:41
@article{b9c51c0c-e365-4f58-a7f0-7cecff7d2c7d,
  abstract     = {<p>Many studies suggest that increased exposure to urban greenness is associated with better population health. Accessing nature can in some circumstances, however, be difficult, especially for individuals with mobility constraints. Therefore, a growing body of work is investigating the ways to replace the in vivo experience with forms of “virtual” contact, in order to provide these individuals with at least some benefits of the natural environment. The aim of this paper is to provide a review of previous use of virtual reality (VR) nature in health and care settings and contemplate the potential use of this technology in future. Our central question is whether engaging with virtual nature can contribute to enhanced physical and emotional well-being in housebound or mobility-constrained individuals. We conclude that while contact with real-world nature is preferred, VR use can be an alternative in cases when in vivo contact with nature is not possible. There are many possibilities for the use of VR technology in psychiatric and medical care; however, the risks, benefits, and cost efficiency of these attempts should be carefully assessed and the outcomes should be measured in a scientifically valid manner. The current review has nonetheless demonstrated that VR nature could play a role in each of the proposed mediating mechanisms linking natural environments and health.</p>},
  author       = {White, Matthew P. and Yeo, Nicola L. and Vassiljev, Peeter and Lundstedt, Rikard and Wallergård, Mattias and Albin, Maria and Löhmus, Mare},
  issn         = {1176-6328},
  keyword      = {Blue space,Clinical use of VR,Elderly care,Green space,Life quality,Mobility-constrained individuals,Pain relief,Virtual reality},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {3001--3013},
  publisher    = {Dove Press},
  series       = {Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment},
  title        = {A prescription for “nature” – The potential of using virtual nature in therapeutics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S179038},
  volume       = {14},
  year         = {2018},
}