Using virtual reality to train inhibitory control and reduce binge eating: A proof-of-concept study

S.M. Manasse, E.W. Lampe, A.S. Juarascio, Jichen Zhu, E.M. Forman

Publikation: Artikel i tidsskrift og konference artikel i tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstrakt

Objective: One reason for limited efficacy of treatments for binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN) is a failure to directly target deficits in inhibitory control (i.e., the ability to withhold a pre-potent response). Inhibitory control trainings (ICTs; computerized tasks meant to improve inhibitory control) have shown promise but appear not to be powerful enough to generalize to real-word eating behavior or engaging enough for to sustain long-term compliance. Delivering an ICT through virtual reality (VR) technology should increase intervention power because 3D imagery and actual real hand/arm movements are lifelike and may improve compliance because the VR environment is highly engaging. Thus, we created the first-ever VR-based ICT to test its initial feasibility, acceptability, and impact on binge eating.

Method: We recruited participants (N = 14) with once-weekly loss-of-control (LOC) eating to use the VR ICT daily, at home, for two weeks, and measured feasibility, acceptability and change in LOC eating at postintervention and 2-week follow-up.

Results: The VR ICT was feasible to construct and deploy, and demonstrated high acceptability and compliance (i. e., 86.8% of daily trainings completed). Users of the VR ICT experienced large decreases in LOC eating at postintervention and 2-week follow-up.

Discussion: Results from this initial pilot indicate that delivering ICT through VR is feasible, acceptable, and is associated with reductions in binge eating. Future study is warranted and should examine whether a VR ICT can serve as a useful adjunct to standard treatment for BN and BED.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAppetite
ISSN0195-6663
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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