Assistive technology including virtual reality and augmented reality has gained interest as a novel intervention in a range of clinical settings. This technology has the potential to provide mental stimulation, a connection to autobiographical memory through reminiscence, and enhanced quality of life (QoL) to people living with dementia (PLWD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In this mini-review, we examine the available evidence from studies reporting on the potential benefits of virtual and augmented reality to provide enjoyable, leisurely activities that may promote QoL and psychological well-being and facilitate social interaction. In total, 10 studies of varying study designs and durations (5 min to 6 months) using virtual (n = 9) and augmented reality (n = 1) were examined in PLWD (n = 6) and MCI (n= 3), in addition to 1 study that included participants with both conditions. Overall, the virtual experiences were enjoyed by the participants, improved their mood and apathy, and were preferred when compared with nonvirtual experiences. However, small sample sizes and variations in study design limit the generalizability of the results. Nevertheless, the use of virtual and augmented reality technology for PLWD and MCI is a novel and emerging method which may provide cognitive stimulation and improve well-being. Future research should explore the potential application of this technology to promote social interaction in both the community and aged care settings. We suggest future studies in PLWD and MCI assess the effects of more sustained use of virtual and augmented reality technology on psychological outcomes including QoL, apathy, and depressive symptoms, with the incorporation of physiological biomarker outcomes.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.