Virtual reality-based interventions for patients with paranoia: A systematic review

Elham Monaghesh, Taha Samad-Soltani, Sara Farhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    123 Downloads (Pure)


    Background and objective: Paranoia is an important psychiatric symptom with a remarkable effect on daily life. Virtual reality (VR)-based treatments are influential and safe for patients with paranoia. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness, and define the clinical and technical characteristics of available VR strategies for the treatment of patients with paranoia. Materials and methods: Studies published up to 25/11/2021 reporting VR-based interventions for the treatment of patients with paranoia were reviewed in five databases, including PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and Scopus. Results: Out of 302 initial search results, eight were included in the present study based on the inclusion criteria. Six studies were randomized clinical trials with the interventions in the experimental group being based on VR, compared to routine interventions as controls. Two were before-after studies. The most commonly used hardware and software were head-mounted display and Unity3D, respectively. Interventions had a range of 1-16 sessions with follow-up durations of 0-6 months. All investigations showed positive results in the main target, including improved social participation, reduced level of anxiety, as well as diminished suspicious ideas and paranoid symptoms. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrated that VR-based interventions are effective treatments. Although the use of VR technology is limited for a variety of reasons, such as cost, it improves symptoms in patients with paranoia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number114338
    Number of pages8
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2022


    • Paranoia
    • Psychosis
    • Schizophrenia
    • Treatment
    • Virtual reality
    • PEOPLE
    • RISK

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