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Health

Virtual reality supported therapy for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia (V-NeST)

The negative symptoms of schizophrenia including poor motivation, social withdrawal, difficulty in enjoying daily activities and reduced communication reduce people’s recovery prospect. These symptoms influence patients’ day-to-day functioning, and reports of patient groups have highlighted this as a key area for new treatment development.

We have developed and tested a novel virtual reality supported therapy (called V-NeST) targeting the negative symptoms of schizophrenia with the overall aim of improving recovery and evaluate this in an acceptability and feasibility randomised controlled trial funded by the National Institute of Health and Care Research in the UK.

A bar with people socialising
VR hands throwing darts at a board

The result of this study suggest that V-NeST is feasible and acceptable and there is indication that this treatment leads to improvement in recovery goals and negative symptoms reduction.

The study results are available here:

Cella M, Tomlin P, Robotham D, Green P, Griffiths H, Stahl D, Valmaggia L. Virtual reality supported therapy for the negative symptoms of schizophrenia: the V-NeST feasibility RCT. Southampton (UK): National Institute for Health and Care Research; 2023 Sep.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996422002857?via%3Dihub

Cella M, Tomlin P, Robotham D, Green P, Griffiths H, Stahl D, Valmaggia L. Virtual Reality Therapy for the Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia (V-NeST): A pilot randomised feasibility trial. Schizophr Res. 2022 Oct;248:50-57. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2022.07.013.

https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/hta/HNVC2041#/full-report

A factory Virtual reality environment
Project status: Completed

Principal Investigator

Contact us

If interested in V-NeST please contact Matteo Cella