Study of Occupational Performance Satisfaction and Hopelessness in Older Adults While Using Virtual Reality Headsets
Aims: This study investigated the effects of virtual reality (VR) on feelings of hopelessness, occupational performance, and occupational satisfaction in older adults. Methods: Participants were recruited from an active wellness program in Washington D.C. Participants engaged in a VR protocol including interaction with virtual scenery over the course of six sessions. Participants completed pre-tests and post-tests of the Beck’s Hopelessness Inventory (BHI) and the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM). Results: Ten participants (n = 10) completed the study. There were significant decreases in BHI scores, p = .037, rbc = -.689, and COPM satisfaction outcomes, p = .026, d = 0.710. While COPM performance scores improved, p = .061, rbc = .600, this outcome is inconclusive. Conclusions: Older adults reported less hopelessness and higher occupational satisfaction after the program. The results of this study lend support to the use of VR as an effective intervention for feelings of hopelessness and occupational performance in older adults.