Acceptance of immersive head-mounted virtual reality in older adults.
Huygelier H., Schraepen B., van Ee R., Vanden Abeele V., Gillebert CR.
Immersive virtual reality has become increasingly popular to improve the assessment and treatment of health problems. This rising popularity is likely to be facilitated by the availability of affordable headsets that deliver high quality immersive experiences. As many health problems are more prevalent in older adults, who are less technology experienced, it is important to know whether they are willing to use immersive virtual reality. In this study, we assessed the initial attitude towards head-mounted immersive virtual reality in 76 older adults who had never used virtual reality before. Furthermore, we assessed changes in attitude as well as self-reported cybersickness after a first exposure to immersive virtual reality relative to exposure to time-lapse videos. Attitudes towards immersive virtual reality changed from neutral to positive after a first exposure to immersive virtual reality, but not after exposure to time-lapse videos. Moreover, self-reported cybersickness was minimal and had no association with exposure to immersive virtual reality. These results imply that the contribution of VR applications to health in older adults will neither be hindered by negative attitudes nor by cybersickness.