Using virtual reality to ease the burden on informal caregivers

Jana Horová, Sylva Bártlová, Hana Hajduchová, Lenka Motlová, Marie Trešlová, Helena Záškodná, Iva Brabcová *, Tomáš Hrdý, Ingrid Baloun, Věra Stasková
University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Emergency Care, České Budějovice, Czech Republic

Korespondenční autor: Iva Brabcová (brabcova@zsf.jcu.cz)

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
Full version

Submitted:15. 2. 2022
Accepted: 13. 4. 2022
Published online: 30. 6. 2022

Summary

Introduction: Today, support for caregivers through communication and information technology is increasingly being used. Virtual environments can to some extent satisfy the need for support and allow for an empathetic perception of the situation, which reduces the caregiver’s burden. This review presents the findings of research studies, over a period of 4 years (2018–2021), that have looked at the use of virtual reality to alleviate the burden of informal caregivers.

Methods: By formulating a clinical question using the PICO method, keywords were identified, and search resources were retrieved from the fulltext electronic databases Cinahl, ProQuest Central, and PubMed Central.

Results: Nine relevant research studies were included in the final review. Five studies focused on investigating the impact of virtual reality on informal caregivers of persons with dementia, and the other research focus was on caregivers of persons with psychiatric illness, the elderly with chronic illness, or those in the terminal stage of illness. Programs using virtual reality were included as research interventions. These were created in the locality, taking into account the cultural specificities of the participants.

Conclusions: Support for informal caregivers is generally perceived as inadequate. Virtual reality and simulation are areas that have great potential to support health and social care provision.

Keywords: Care burden; Caregiver; Home care; Virtual reality

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