Development of a Virtual Reality tool for patients with eating disorder

Asge Frederik Matthiesen, Else Teresa Møllebæk, Gunver Majgaard

Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konference-proceedingKonferencebidrag i proceedingsForskningpeer review


In Denmark alone, there is approximately 75.000 people living with an eating disorder. Patients who are suffering from the disorder show tendencies to overestimate their body image and the Danish health care system is still concerned with these issues. Virtual Reality (VR) has become a promising tool for treating different forms of anxiety by exposing them to what they are afraid of in VR. Often patients with eating disorders experience problems regarding grocery shopping after they leave their treatment center. They should adjust their old habits and live without their difficulties, but it is easy to fall into old patterns, and therefore they need a tool for being able to work with their social anxiety, choice making and other related problems. The goal with this case study is to design and develop a virtual reality game-based learning tool in cooperation with patients and therapists at the department P50Ø at the University Hospital of Odense, Denmark and to examine how they experience the use of virtual reality in active skills training. Using virtual reality as a tool promotes immersion and presence which leads to an experience as close to real life as possible and makes the tool a combination of VR and exposure therapy. Game elements will be added to the application in terms of guiding the user through the mechanics, rewarding the patient and more. The methods behind this research are based upon an iterative design process coupled with qualitative and observational approach. The tool is developed in 3 iterations varying from different stages of low-fidelity prototyping to high-fidelity prototyping. The final product is being developed in Unity 3D and with the aid of a Garmin 360° camera, combined with 3D scans of groceries. The 3 iterations are being co-designed with 7 patients and an occupational therapist attached to department P50Ø and tested with a HTC vive. The results of the tests promising results regarding the use of VR in combination with therapy is still an area which is left for exploration, however it has shown great possibilities in using VR for treatment of patients with anorexia. The immersion and the game-based method are of great importance for creating a simulation in which treatment can be used. The possibility for repeating the simulation and using it for training is of great importance to the way of rethinking treatment in general.

TitelProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
RedaktørerLars Elbaek, Gunver Majgaard, Andrea Valente, Saifuddin Khalid
ForlagAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Publikationsdatookt. 2019
ISBN (Trykt)978-1-912764-38-9
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-1-912764-37-2
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2019
Begivenhed13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019 - Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 3. okt. 20194. okt. 2019


Konference13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019
NavnProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning

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  • Citationsformater

    Matthiesen, A. F., Møllebæk, E. T., & Majgaard, G. (2019). Development of a Virtual Reality tool for patients with eating disorder. I L. Elbaek, G. Majgaard, A. Valente, & S. Khalid (red.), Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Game Based Learning, ECGBL 2019 (s. 970-977). Academic Conferences and Publishing International. Proceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning, Bind. 2019-October