What are possible applications of virtual reality for forensic psychiatry?

Kevin L.P. Van Wallendael, Dirk van West, Inge Jeandarme, Saskia Roggeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Virtual reality (VR) has been on the rise in recent years due to the better quality and accessibility of VR glasses and software. Despite the fact that VR is being used more often in psychiatric care, little is known about the possible applications of VR in forensic psychiatry. Aim To investigate which possible VR-applications already exist that can also be used in forensic psychiatry and what the possible risks are. Method Scientific literature was consulted in PubMed, Web of Knowledge, Embase en Cochrane Library to search for immersive VR-applications for aggression, motivation and the most prevalent psychopathologies in forensic psychiatry. Results Several relevant VR-applications were found that can be used in the diagnosis or treatment of forensic psychiatric patients. Despite the limited number of empirical studies, several authors emphasize the potential benefits of VR for this target group. Conclusion Due to the low number of studies of good quality on the use of VR in psychiatric care, it is currently not yet possible to draw clear conclusions about efficiency, deployability and specific applications. However, there is enough potential within forensic psychiatry to integrate VR into various parts of the care process, such as treatment, diagnosis and risk assessment.

Translated title of the contributionWhat are possible applications of virtual reality for forensic psychiatry?
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)810-815
Number of pages6
JournalTijdschrift voor Psychiatrie
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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