VR-AI Pilot Study Shows Promising Results in Reducing Hot Flashes and Improving Well-Being in Women.
Breast and ovarian cancer can have a significant impact on a woman's life, both physically and mentally. Female cancer survivors often experience hot flashes, sleep difficulties, and mental health issues. However, a new pilot study has found that a novel artificial intelligence-virtual reality (AI-VR) intervention called Bubble could help alleviate these symptoms.
The study involved 42 women with breast and/or ovarian cancer who suffered from hot flashes at varying frequencies. They were instructed to use Bubble, a VR mobile psychological intervention based on cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction, twice a day and when experiencing a hot flash, for 24 consecutive days. Before and after this period, the participants completed self-report questionnaires assessing hot flashes, general psychiatric distress, perceived stress, illness perception, sleep quality, and quality of life.
VR Frosty landscape with coach Luna.
The results of the study showed that participants reported a significant reduction in the daily frequency of hot flashes, stress, general psychiatric distress, several domains of quality of life, and sleep difficulties. They also reported an improvement in illness perception and high satisfaction with Bubble. Importantly, both age and baseline levels of psychopathology were found to moderate the effect of Bubble on sleep difficulties.
This study provides preliminary evidence for the potential of VR interventions in alleviating hot flashes and accompanying mental distress among those coping with breast and ovarian cancer. VR is a powerful therapeutic tool that can directly address mind-body aspects, and more studies are needed to fully understand its potential as a unique intervention. If future studies confirm these findings, AI-VR interventions like Bubble could become a valuable tool in improving the quality of life for women with breast and ovarian cancer.
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