Advancing science and practice using immersive virtual reality
What behavioral medicine has to offer
Persky, S., & Lewis, M. A. (2019). Advancing science and practice using immersive virtual reality: What behavioral medicine has to offer. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 9(6), 1040-1046. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibz068
Interest in immersive virtual reality (VR) technologies is burgeoning as the hardware becomes less costly and more accessible to users, including researchers and practitioners. This commentary outlines the field of immersive VR and highlights applications of its use relevant to translational behavioral medicine. We describe the challenges facing VR applications for health and medicine, and how the core strengths of behavioral medicine can advance theory, research, and practice using VR. By highlighting potential uses of immersive VR alongside the challenges facing the field, we hope to inspire researchers to apply robust theories, methods, and frameworks to generate stronger evidence about the feasibility, acceptability, efficacy, and effectiveness of using this technology in translational behavioral medicine.