Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness and is characterized by hallucinations and delusions as well as social skills deficits. Generally, social skills training designed to help patients develop social skills includes role-playing, but this form of training has typical shortcomings, which are largely due to a trainer's difficulties to project emotion. Virtual reality (VR)-based techniques have the potential to solve these difficulties, because they provide a computer-generated but realistic three-dimensional world and humanlike avatars that can provide emotional stimuli. In this paper, we report on a method of implementing virtual environments (VEs) in order to train people with schizophrenia to develop conversational skills in specific situations, which could overcome the shortcomings of or complement conventional role-playing techniques. The paper reports the efficacy of the proposed approach in a preliminary clinical trial with 10 patients with schizophrenia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Human-Computer Interaction